More than 25 million children, adolescents and adults across the country are currently diagnosed with asthma.
A new study published this month found that around 75% of people aged 20 to 40 with asthma and 65% of asthmatic adults 55 and older have at least one confirmed type of allergy. Previously, it was believed that allergy is the basis of asthma only in children (according to statistics, almost 80% of them).
The oldest adult asthmatics participating in the study were sensitive to microscopic mites found in house dust (36%), flower and grass pollen (33%), cats (27%), dogs (24%), and even cockroaches ( eleven%). Allergic sensitivity in 20–40-year-old asthmatics was less diverse: these young patients were sensitive to dogs (50%) and house dust (45%).
The medical community has long understood the link between allergies and the risk of developing asthma, especially in the younger populations. However, asthma is often not very well diagnosed in older people, and therefore many are left without treatment.
The erroneous diagnosis of asthma in older people leaves the potential for various related effects on their health. Without optimal diagnosis and treatment, there may be a potential increase in life-threatening asthma symptoms, especially in the elderly.
This study emphasizes the importance of detecting allergic triggers in older and younger people, as well as the importance of a person’s genetic history and assessment of environmental changes for asthmatics.