For parents of children with asthma, the condition can seem a little hopeless. However, while there is no cure for asthma, it is possible to outgrow the symptoms. How do children outgrow asthma, and how can you tell if it will happen?
How Often Do Children Outgrow Asthma?
Before we discuss when children might outgrow asthma, keep in mind that diagnosing asthma in children can be difficult at times. As a result, a case where a child “loses their asthma” might simply mean that they never had it to begin with.
For example, if your child is prone to respiratory infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, they could very well suffer from another lung problem besides asthma. However, if they were incorrectly diagnosed with asthma, then it might appear later that they “outgrew it” as their lungs strengthen and their infections decrease.
That said, true childhood asthmatics fall into one of three categories.
1. Children who lose all symptoms as they get older.
Some children may receive a correct diagnosis of asthma and then lose all symptoms later. Ironically, adult-onset asthma refers to the opposite, someone who experiences no symptoms as children but suddenly begins suffering from asthma as an adult.
2. Children who temporarily lose symptoms and then regain them a few years later.
On the other hand, some children experience a break in their flare-ups for years at a time only to have an attack down the road. For this reason, it is extremely important to keep an inhaler on hand, even if attacks are uncommon for your child.
3. Children who suffer from asthma their whole life.
The third category refers to children who experience asthma symptoms throughout their entire life, even if the symptoms are not severe.
How Can You Tell if Your Child is Outgrowing Their Asthma?
As a general rule, there is no way to tell ahead of time whether or not your child will outgrow their asthma. At least, it is impossible to tell for sure. However, there are a few signs that indicate what your child’s chances might be of losing their symptoms.
The Overall Severity
If your child’s asthma is extremely severe, chances are slim that it will go away overnight. On the other hand, if your child suffers from very mild asthma, they could grow out of it as their body matures.
The Source of Your Child’s Triggers
Take a look at what triggers flare-ups in your child. If they suffer from severe allergies, it is more likely to be a lifelong battle than with anxiety.
Finally, evaluate your family history. Asthma is a hereditary condition, so if those in your family suffered from asthma their whole lives, your child is likely to as well.
Even if You Don’t Outgrow, Maintain!
Whether or not your child eventually outgrows their asthma, it is important to stay in control of triggers and flare-ups. Teach your child to maintain their asthma by taking the following steps.
1. Monitor your child’s lung health with an asthma action plan.
An asthma action plan states what to do and which medicine to take in the event of a flare-up or attack. It also logs important data such as triggers, symptoms, and lung test scores.
2. Use an at-home spirometer to regularly test your child’s lungs.
Spirometry measures lung capacity, which, in turn, indicates whether or not your child’s lungs are functioning normally.
3. Communicate with your child’s doctor often.
Communication is key. It informs your child’s doctor of any changes in their lung health, as well as keeps everyone on the same page regarding testing and medication.