Can You Outgrow Asthma?

Can You Outgrow Asthma?

Can You Outgrow Asthma?

You can outgrow your shoes, your pants – even your teddy bear. But can you outgrow asthma? Unfortunately, the idea you can leave asthma behind once you’re an adult is a myth in many cases. 

When Asthma Won’t Let Go 

Asthma is the most common long-term disease in children. Yet, it can affect people for their entire lives. While it’s true that some see their asthma fade as they get older, many others don’t. In some, their asthma may disappear for a while only to reappear later. Sadly, asthma often reappears.

Who is at Risk? 

Doctors can’t easily predict which people will see their asthma return or continue later in life. But certain people may be more likely to have asthma through their adult years. According to the Cleveland Clinic, leaving site icon the people most likely to have asthma as adults are: 

  • Women 
  • People who developed asthma as children (often around age nine) 
  • Smokers 
  • People allergic to dust mites 
Keeping Asthma Under Control 

Many of the same tips that help keep childhood asthma under control can also work for adults. You can reduce the risk of asthma attacks by avoiding certain triggers that can make asthma worse, such as smoke. Here are some other tips to help avoid triggers: 

  • Use mattress and pillowcase covers to decrease dust mite allergens
  • Keep indoor humidity between 35 percent and 50 percent to control allergy-causing mold 
  • Don’t let pets sleep in the bedroom

You may not outgrow asthma, but you can manage it daily to enjoy an active life.

Sources: Can Asthma Go Away? leaving site icon Healthline, 2021; Asthmaleaving site icon Cleveland Clinic, 2021; Most Recent National Asthma Data, leaving site icon Centers for Disease and Prevention, 2021.

Originally published: 10/13/2016; Revised 2022