peoples' silhouettes stacked inside of each other

Asthma Affects Everyone: Asthma At Every Age

In the Asthma In America 2020 survey, we asked the community (you!) what it’s really like to live with asthma. We had over 1,000 people take our survey, and we are very excited to share the results with you.

This year, we would like to focus on asthma throughout the ages. We were fortunate to have a variety of people ages 18-80+ participate in our survey, and you may be surprised to see the similarities and differences in their asthma.

Asthma affects all ages

It is a common misconception that asthma is a childhood disease. While asthma does affect many children, it certainly does not discriminate. Asthma can affect anyone, ranging from children to teens to young adults and older adults - even grandparents can develop asthma!

Only 34% were diagnosed under age 18, Average age of diagnosis: 31.2

Our confidence with asthma as we age

Asthma affects each person differently, and that’s not just including symptoms and triggers. Asthma can also impact your confidence. In fact, we found that there was a pretty dramatic change in confidence due to asthma based on age. Turns out, the younger you are, the less confident your asthma may make you feel.

While this may seem like bad news, we have a good takeaway: as you age, your confidence will grow!

I feel less confident because of my asthma: Ages18-29: 44%30-39: 39%40-49: 34%50-59: 32%60-69: 27%70-79: 22%80+: 13%

Is asthma embarrassing?

Interestingly, feeling less confident does not necessarily mean feeling embarrassed about your asthma. Overall, 10% fewer participants reported feeling embarrassed about their asthma in comparison to feeling less confident. However, embarrassment was also a more commonly experienced feeling among individuals in younger age groups. It appears that as you age, asthma feels less socially distressing.

I feel embarrassed* about my asthma. Ages18-29: 37%30-39: 21%40-49: 25%50-59: 21%60-69: 19%70-79: 12%80+: 9%

We are a community, regardless of age

While age can change the way you perceive your asthma, it does not change the fact that everyone in this community is experiencing asthma together. Even though symptoms may vary from person to person, you’re all on the same rollercoaster ride that is the asthma experience. Many of you have similar worries, fears, and anxieties.

44% feel like asthma holds them back from doing things they enjoy. 32% worry that other people will think they are “out of shape” because of their asthma. 22% avoid making future plans due to asthma

We are coping together

But we have good news! There are so many resources and services that are here to help, and it looks like you’re finding them already. Regardless of age, many of you are using at least one resource to help you cope with flares, manage your symptoms, deal with asthma attacks, and more.

91% use resources to learn about or help manage their asthma Top resources include: 77% Health care provider 60% Asthma-specific websites 55% Internet search 26% Facebook

Did any of this information resonate with you? We would love to hear your thoughts. Join our community to learn more about asthma and connect with others who get it.

The Asthma In America 2020 survey was conducted online from January through March of 2020. 1,025 people who have been diagnosed with asthma completed the survey.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.