How Childhood and Adult-Onset Asthma Differ?

Asthma usually first appears in childhood, but it is possible to develop it at any point in your life. Asthma causes the airways to become narrowed and inflamed, making it more difficult to breathe. 

Symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Chest pain
  • Frequent colds or viruses that take longer to recover from

The exact cause of asthma isn’t known, but certain triggers can cause symptoms and flare-ups. Studies have shown that children and adults both experience asthma symptoms and attacks from exposure to triggers like smoke, pollution, dust, cold temperatures, mould, or extreme exercise.

Childhood Asthma
If your child has symptoms that you’re worried might be asthma, contact your GP because untreated childhood asthma can end up having lifelong complications. Once diagnosed, be mindful of triggers because children’s bodies are still developing, making them more susceptible.

Most children with pediatric asthma only suffer from intermittent symptoms and may even find that once they hit puberty, their asthma reduces in severity or goes away.

Adult-Onset Asthma
Whilst triggers and symptoms are similar for adults and children, adults tend to have more persistent symptoms of asthma and often need daily treatment.

Most cases of adult-onset asthma are caused by allergies to things like pollen, pet dander, and dust mites. Even if you have never had allergies before, it isn’t uncommon for people to develop adult-onset allergies.

Asthma in adults has also been linked to exposure to chemical irritants in the workplace or at home.

Asthma Treatment
Once diagnosed, adults and children may both need to use asthma medication to manage their symptoms, prevent flare-ups, or to treat their allergies. Some medications are aimed at treating acute attacks (reliever) while others are taken on a regular basis to prevent those attacks (preventative). The most common type of treatment is an inhaler.

  • Salbutamol: A fast-acting reliever inhaler used in the short-term for asthma symptoms. It begins working in 5 minutes and provides relief for up to 6 hours.
  • Ventolin: A reliever inhaler that can prevent exercise induced asthma, give short-term relief from asthma, and treat acute attacks.  
  • Clenil: A preventative inhaler used each day to manage asthma and prevent future attacks.

Salbutamol, Ventolin, and Clenil Inhalers can be bought online in the UK through Pharmacy Planet.