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Friday, February 10, 2012

Can you "outgrow" asthma?


People ask me all the time if you can "outgrow" asthma. They brightly tell me stories of how their cousin's next-door neighbor's babysitter's best friend out grew hers, so I can too! Well, I haven't. And it seems like my asthma is worse now than it's ever been. And as a mom of three kids, you can guess that I'm well into adulthood now-and I haven't "outgrown" my asthma.

So I was interested to hear a telehealth this week from the Utah Asthma Program that was given by Dr. David Gourley. He said that many people do NOT outgrow their asthma, or have their asthma 'disappear.' It can actually become 'dormant' in 30% to 50% of kids at puberty, but often reappears when you are an adult. He also said that the odds are higher if the child has eczema or other family members do.

It makes sense to me, my asthma wasn't that bad when I was younger. But I take a maintenance medication every day now and don't go anywhere without my inhaler.

My poor kids haven't "outgrown" their asthma either. We have eczema, allergies and asthma on Hubby's side of the family too, so I'm afraid our kids were doomed to have asthma! Funny how some things tend to run in families.

So, just another little nugget of information. Don't be too relaxed into thinking that your kids can or will outgrown their asthma. There's always hope! But I would keep asthma medications handy and be aware of the signs and symptoms of an asthma attack. Make sure you are having annual checkups with your doctor.

If you want to listen to more of the Asthma telehealth presentations, click here. Scroll down the page and you'll see the presentations listed at the bottom. There's a new one every 3 months, Dr. Gourley's isn't on there yet, but should be shortly.

Happy viewing and grab some popcorn. Oooh, and some tasty peanut M&M's!


  1. I am confused as to the purpose of this? I assume it is not just to take away people's hope so exactly what is it? To alert people to the fact that they or their children will most likely never outgrow their illness? Please forgive me for being dense but what are the practical clinical applications of this post? I would hope that parents of asthmatic children would not be cavalier about their watchfulness or medication habits (I know I am not)....confused?

    1. Hi Kendall, everyone with asthma is different. Some people do outgrown asthma-lucky ducks! :)

      I will not, nor will my teenagers because we also have multiple allergies, which trigger asthma attacks for us.

      My Asthma Specialist said that if you DON'T have allergies, you are more likely to outgrow asthma. Hope for others!!! :)

      The reason for this post is cautionary, if someone thinks they have outgrown their asthma, but have an asthma attack but no longer carry an inhaler, they can be in BIG trouble.

      I hope people are careful and can recognize symptoms so if they do have an asthma attack years down the road, they can quickly get help! :)