Can You Outgrow Asthma?

Can You Outgrow Asthma?

Can You Outgrow Asthma?

You can outgrow your shoes, your pants — even your teddy bear. Can you outgrow asthma? Unfortunately, the idea you can leave asthma behind when you’re an adult is mostly a myth. 

When Asthma Won’t Let Go 

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

Who Is at Risk? 

Doctors can’t easily predict who will see their asthma return or continue later in life. They do know certain factors make some people more likely to have asthma through their adult years. The Cleveland Clinic, leaving site icon reports people most likely to have asthma as adults include: 

  • Women 
  • Those who had asthma as children 
  • Smokers 
  • People allergic to dust mites 
Keeping Asthma Under Control 

Many of the same tips that help keep childhood asthma in check also work for adults. You can reduce the risk of asthma attacks by avoiding triggers that can make asthma worse, such as smoke. Here are a few tips to help avoid triggers: 

  • Use mattress and pillowcase covers to reduce dust mite allergens
  • Keep indoor humidity between 35% and 50% to prevent 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, 2022; Most Recent National Asthma Data, leaving site icon Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2023

Originally published: 10/13/2016; Revised 2022, 2024