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Adult Onset Asthma: January 15, 2012

Stan Hilman worked in construction, once he left the workplace, he never expected it may have left a lasting impact.

“This only happened after I retired, and then I notice that I was wheezing and went to a pulmonologist.”

Stan was diagnosed with asthma. Most frequent in children, in someone over twenty the condition is called adult onset asthma. It’s possible to develop asthma at age fifty, sixty, or even later in life.

“I might have had some sort of a breathing condition to start with but it was really highlighted by the fact of working in construction and breathing all of the contaminants that flew in the air,” says Stan.

Research shows prolonged exposure to certain workplace materials may set off asthma symptoms in adults, along with allergies.

“Asthma is genetic, but they are also thinking its environmental,” says Theresa Summe.

Theresa is with Lee Memorial Health System, she teaches people, primarily children, how to manage asthma.

“The state of Florida actually has a five-year plan called the Asthma State Coalition Which they're going out, trying to educate, because asthma is on the rise,” says Summe.

Unlike children who experience intermittent asthma attacks, usually brought on by a trigger, adults are more likely to have persistent symptoms and require daily medications.

“I use a nebulizer with dilated materials in there, I use these pocket puffers. Try to exercise a lot, take deep breaths and watch my diet closely as to what I eat that would restrict breathing problems,” says Stan.

Finding the source of his problem was refreshing to Stan. With his doctor’s help, he’s now able to breathe easier.