According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 13 Americans suffers from asthma and it’s the most common chronic illness in children. Just like many conditions, asthma affects everyone differently — while some people only suffer a mild form of the disease, others are plagued by frequent and life-threatening asthma attacks.
Common Types of Asthma
Though people often associate the onset of asthma with childhood, that’s not always the case. Many adults develop asthma in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. Though the cause of adult-onset asthma isn’t well known, smoke, mold, and other airway irritants can trigger it.
Most notably, the death rate for adult-onset asthma is substantially higher than the death rate for childhood asthma because adults tend to ignore their symptoms or attribute them to weight gain and age.
Allergic asthma is the most common form of asthma, affecting roughly 16 million people around the world. People with allergic asthma won’t experience an asthma attack until they come in contact with something they’re allergic to, such as dust, pet dander, mold, or pollen.
Exercise-induced asthma can affect two groups of people:
- Those with everyday asthma that worsens when they exercise.
- Those who only experience asthmatic symptoms when they exercise.
Typically, symptoms of exercise-induced asthma include extreme shortness of breath, coughing, weezing, and a tight chest. These symptoms will also appear relatively soon after someone begins working out.
Though childhood asthma isn’t technically a different condition than adult-onset asthma, children face unique challenges because their airways are narrowed. Childhood asthma can’t be cured, but its symptoms (which include frequent coughing, shortness of breath, and chest congestion) can be easily controlled.
If you suspect your child is developing asthma, it’s important that you take them to a specialist right away, as early intervention is the best chance of preventing an asthma attack.
Ready to discuss your or your child’s asthma with our board-certified doctors? Contact us at the Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia today at (404) 994-3574 to book your appointment.