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I'm an Adult. Why Do I Suddenly Have Asthma?

I'm an Adult. Why Do I Suddenly Have Asthma?

More than 25 million women, men, and children in the United States have a chronic lung condition called asthma. If you have asthma the airways that bring air to and from your lungs become inflamed and narrow, making it difficult to inhale or exhale. The airways may also produce extra mucus, which further narrows these important tubes.

When you’re in the middle of an asthma attack, you may find it difficult to breathe. During an attack, symptoms include:

Asthma attacks can be extremely scary and are also potentially dangerous. If you develop asthma symptoms, it’s important to get an examination and a diagnosis, even if you’re an adult.

Our team of providers at Modern Wellness Clinic in Las Vegas, Nevada, understand that it may be disorienting to be diagnosed with asthma as an adult. Although asthma was once regarded as a disease that arose in childhood, recent research has shown that women, in particular, are more likely to develop asthma for the first time as adults. 

If you’ve been diagnosed with adult-onset asthma, or if you suspect you might have it, you probably wonder why. Following are some of the factors that trigger adult-onset asthma.


About 30% of adult-onset asthma cases are caused by allergens. As you age, your body becomes more sensitive to substances that it once easily tolerated. So, in one scenario, you may have developed a new allergy, and that’s what triggered your first asthma attack.

Another possibility is that your asthma was triggered by an allergy to a substance you’d never been exposed to before. For instance, you may have grown up in a pet-free house, but then as an adult moved in with a partner or roommate who had cats or dogs. The pet’s dander triggered your dormant allergy, which then led to an asthma attack.


Hormonal balance seems to be related to asthma, too. Women — who are more likely than men to develop adult-onset asthma — tend to experience their first attack during times of hormonal fluctuation.

For instance, you may find you first develop symptoms while you’re pregnant, or shortly after you give birth. Women who enter menopause sometimes develop asthma as their hormone levels drop.


Anything that adversely affects your lungs could lead to an asthma attack. A bad bout of flu, pneumonia, or exposure to COVID may increase your risk for asthma. You could also develop asthma after a bacterial infection that affects your lungs or airways.

Minimize your risk for the flu, COVID, and possible asthma by getting all the vaccinations and boosters you need. Remember that the flu changes each year, so you need a new shot each year, too.

Find your answer

The only way to fully answer the question as to why you developed asthma as an adult is to get a thorough exam and precise diagnosis. You may have allergies or sensitivities that trigger your attacks. You may also need to make lifestyle changes or carry a prescription inhaler to help you breathe during an attack.

Once you identify your triggers, we help you develop an asthma plan. Your asthma plan consists of ways to avoid known triggers, and actions you can take when you do have an attack.

To breathe more freely and fully again, contact us for an asthma diagnosis and treatment today. Contact our office by phone at 702-463-9159 today or use our online booking form.


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