Asthma can be a mild condition that is bothersome at times, or it can be a serious respiratory condition that results in dangerous and often scary breathing situations. While some people are diagnosed with asthma in childhood, others are diagnosed after the age of 18. This is known as adult-onset asthma. If you have recently received this diagnosis, you may be wondering what caused your asthma and what you can do to improve your health and well-being in the years to come.

Exposure to Air Pollutants

There are many types of air pollutants that can cause asthmatic symptoms in adults. Such symptoms may include wheezing when you breathe, coughing, congestion, chest pain, mucus in your airways, and shortness of breath. If you experience any of those signs, know that it’s important to seek professional help.

However, you should also know that it can be caused by the environment around you. For example, exposure to cigarette smoke is one of the more common pollutants that can cause these symptoms. If you smoke and have been diagnosed with asthma, it is wise to quit smoking. If you live with a smoker and consume secondhand smoke regularly, the smoker may need to quit or start smoking outside for the sake of your health.

Exposure to Allergens

Regular exposure to allergens over the years can also cause adult onset asthma. According to Vines Plumbing, mold is an allergen that can lead to asthma. Some other common allergens that may be in your environment are pet dander, pollen and more. You can get an allergy test to learn more about the allergens that your body is most responsive to, and you may need to take steps to remove these allergens from your environment as much as possible. For example, if you discover that you are allergic to cats, you may need to find a new home for your pets. Otherwise, there are some things that you can do to help your situation.

If you’re allergic to cats but aren’t willing to give up your fur baby, that’s okay. You just have to maintain a certain amount of discipline when it comes to taking care of your pet. Here are just a few of those things:

  1. Don’t allow your pet in your bedroom, even to sleep with you.
  2. Use plastic covers on your couches while you’re gone for a long period of time.
  3. Allow your cat outside in a safe enclosure to let the dander go away.
  4. Brush your cat outside so that his or her fur doesn’t get trapped inside
  5. Use medicine, eye drops and vitamins to minimize the effect that cats have on you.
  6. Consider building up your resistance with the help of immunotherapy.
  7. Open your windows for more ventilation
  8. Use pet-friendly wipes to wipe your cat down every day
  9. Use a brand of litter that has less dust and make sure to clean out the cat box every day.

Having cats can be tough for those who are really sensitive to dander when it comes to their asthma. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s entirely impossible for them to be around cats on a regular basis. Of course, that may depend on your particular sensitivity to cats as some people are far more allergic to felines than other individuals. As you take action to improve how your body responds to the allergens around you, make sure that you’re consulting with a doctor who knows you well and is fully aware of your sensitivities.

Respiratory Illnesses

Some respiratory illnesses can damage your lungs and cause asthma symptoms. Even something as simple as a common cold can result in this type of lung damage. Unfortunately, if your lungs have already been damaged by a respiratory illness, you cannot minimize the severity of your symptoms. You can, however, follow better hygiene practices to decrease your chance of getting sick again in the future.

Foods

Some people are allergic to foods, and this can result in asthma symptoms. Foods that contain sulfites, such as processed foods, are a common culprit. An allergy test can be used to determine which foods you are allergic to, and you can take proper steps to avoid consuming them in the future.

It can be scary to deal with your breathing passages narrowing during an asthmatic episode. However, you may be able to control the frequency and severity of these episodes by learning more about your triggers or causes and by removing them from your life as much as possible.