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Asthma Development Later in Life



Hi I am a 32 year old female, never having asthma, last year after having my second child I started having symptoms and was wondering if it could be asthma. It seems like I constantly keep chest congestion, and a stuffy nose. I started noticing that when at work (where my boss smokes) I would feel short of breathe, but when I was at home I didn`t have the short of breathe symptoms, recently I was in a car with some friends who were smoking and I felt like I could hardly breathe. I was just wondering if maybe I could have developed a smoke allergy or if that was possible seeings how I have never had asthma. Also, sometimes at night while trying to go to sleep I will wake myself up feeling a little short of breath its not all the time but sometimes.


People with asthma often have many environmental triggers that can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, and cough. Nighttime symptoms are very common in untreated asthma patients. Your symptoms certainly could be due to asthma or you may have allergies to smoke or other environmental triggers. I would discuss your concerns with your family doctor and consider requesting a referral to an asthma specialist for evaluation. Asthma cannot be diagnosed by symptoms alone so you will need a complete evaluation including some testing of your lung function to determine if you do indeed have asthma.

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Response by:

John G Mastronarde, MD John G Mastronarde, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University