Why Is My Asthma Worse as I Age?

While your previous asthma attacks haven’t exactly been a walk in the park, you were able to manage your condition with few lasting repercussions. These days, however, your asthma has taken a turn for the worse and you want to know why.

Asthma affects more than 27 million people in the United States and, while the respiratory disease is often associated with kids, adults are far from exempt.

If your asthma is getting worse as you age, our team Michael Bazel, M.D., with three greater Los Angeles area locations, specializes in asthma care and wants to provide a little insight into the issue.

Asthma and adults

As we mentioned, asthma is often associated with a younger population. In fact, about 80% of asthma cases start before the age of six. Often, kids with asthma experience periods of remission as young adults, which might lull them into thinking the problem has somehow resolved itself.

Unfortunately, asthma is chronic and doesn’t just go away on its own. These periods of remission or improved symptoms often come from strong lung development and good management during childhood. But, make no mistake, asthma can return.

Not only can asthma plague you into adulthood, but it can also start in adulthood — about 50% of adults with asthma are adult onset.

Why your asthma symptoms might get worse with age

Several characteristics of adult asthma can make your condition worse, such as:

No more remission

Whether your childhood asthma is acting up or you have adult-onset asthma, there’s little chance of remission at this stage.

Weaker lungs

As you get older, your lungs naturally become weaker, which can make what you once considered a mild asthma attack a more serious issue.

More health issues

As you’ve gotten older, you’ve likely been through a few respiratory viruses — COVID-19, anyone? — which can exacerbate airway conditions like asthma.

As well, as you get older, you may gain more weight and become less active, which can have a big impact on your respiratory health.

More exposure

Another factor that might make your asthma symptoms worse as you age is more exposure to harmful environments, whether of your own making or not.

For example, an adult habit of smoking or vaping can make asthma much worse. Or, if you’ve been exposed to smoke or other irritants over the years, this exposure can take its toll on your airways and make your asthma worse.

Getting help for your asthma

No matter your age, our team can help you breathe easier. We help our asthma patients by:

  • Coming up with asthma action plans
  • Making sure you have the medications you need
  • Working with you on good management strategies

With our support, we can help prevent your asthma from overshadowing your life as you get older.

For expert care of adult asthma, visit one of our locations in Panorama City, Bell, or Valley Village, California. Call to schedule an appointment or request one online anytime.

Scroll to Top