Asthma Questions: Can A Child “Grow Out” Of Asthma?

Question: My daughter is six years old, and I recently took her to the doctor as I had noticed she was occasionally struggling to breathe and was coughing a lot. She was diagnosed with mild asthma and given two inhalers to use, which seem to be doing the job. I have, however, heard that sometimes children of my daughter’s age “grow out” of asthma and it does not effect them as a child. Is there any truth in this?

Answer:

There is actually some truth in this – perhaps not in medical record, but certainly in people’s experience of young children with asthma. Some children do indeed appear to “grow out” of asthma, and do not need to use inhalers or suffer attacks in their adult life.

There are various theories for this; the main one being that a child’s developing lungs are more sensitive, and this can make a mild tendency towards asthma seem more serious than it actually is. When the child grows up, their asthma appears to almost vanish, as their lungs grow and mature.

However, the concept of children never suffering from asthma again in their adult life is very rare – many childhood sufferers will find their illness returns as they age, particularly in their 50s and 60s. Hoping that your child’s asthma will fade away as they grow is natural, though it is important to be realistic. This is particularly true if your child has moderate to severe asthma, as this is less likely to be improved with age.

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