Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is there an age cut off for developing asthma?"
I am in my mid forties and have trouble catching my breath lately. I recently moved to a new city, and have never had breathing problems before this. Could I have asthma?
You should definitely go to see your primary care doctor as soon as possible to help you figure out what is going on with this shortness of breath. Shortness of breath in adults is a concerning symptoms, as it can be associated with several serious medical problems. Only your doctor can help you figure out whether something serious is going on. To answer your specific question, asthma can develop later in life, but this is very unusual. Occasionally, asthma symptoms are present for a person's entire life but are mild enough not to be diagnosed until middle age. However, true new asthma symptoms in adults are rare, and usually are a symptom of something else. For generally, shortness of breath could also be caused by a heart problem, such as a heart attach or heart failure (when the heart doesn't pump blood well. It could also be caused by a blood clot in the lungs, by anemia, and several other conditions. Of course it could also be caused just by being out of shape! For this reason, it is very important for you to see your doctor! They will perform an examination and may order some blood tests or other diagnostic tests to get to the bottom of this.