Diagnosing asthma in adults

If you think you have asthma, make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible to get the treatment you need

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Around 1 in 12 adults in the UK is being treated for asthma. People often think of asthma as something you get when you're a child. But it's not unusual to develop asthma as an adult. In fact asthma can develop at any age.

How does it work?

You can chat with our asthma nurse team via WhatsApp on 07378 606 728,

Or you can scan the QR code with your camera to chat with us on your phone, After saving the number, you can name it ‘Asthma + Lung UK’.



  • If you’ve noticed asthma-like symptoms, don’t ignore them. Make an appointment with your GP.  Some GP practices have an asthma nurse, but the practice nurse might be able to help with asthma too.

  • The quicker you get diagnosed, the quicker you can get the right medicines to help deal with your symptoms.

What's triggering my asthma symptoms?

A trigger is anything that sets off your asthma symptoms, such as colds and flu, cigarette smoke, pollution, and cold air.

There are many different asthma triggers. You may just have one or two things that trigger your symptoms, or several. Sometimes it’s difficult to work out what your triggers are.

In adults, asthma symptoms are less likely to be triggered by allergies, such as house dust mites, pets and pollen, and more likely to be triggered by hormonal changes, or work.  

Occupational asthma or work-related asthma can develop very quickly or take weeks, months or years to develop.

Find out if WhatsApp is for youHave hearing or speech difficulties

2Feel uneasy to speak on phone during an asthma flare up

3Have a non-urgent question that do no require calling

How is asthma diagnosed?

Asthma can be complex and take time to diagnose. This is because everyone’s asthma is different. 

Getting a diagnosis for a child, for instance, is different from getting a diagnosis for an adult.

Also, the reasons for breathlessness can vary and in adults, especially older adults, it can be more difficult to tell the difference between asthma and other conditions that cause similar symptoms, such as heart disease or pneumonia.

The best way to confirm or rule out asthma is with asthma tests. But your GP will also want to know about your symptoms, when you get them, and if you've noticed what triggers them.

 Avoiding your individual triggers, when it’s possible, can help reduce the risk of an asthma attack.


I don’t have WhatsApp, how do I contact the nurses?

You can call the nurse team on 0300 222 5800 or email us.