Can Childhood Asthma Go Away?

Child with exercise induced asthma

In most cases, asthma is a lifelong condition. However, there is a possibility that your child’s asthma can go inactive, in remission, or decrease in severity. 

According to recent research on Asthma remission in children, eventual asthma remission is more likely (30.2%) when children are diagnosed early (0 – 11 years old). Asthma diagnosed after 12 years old incurs a 17.9% remission rate. 

With that in mind, if your child displays possible signs of asthma, it’s in their best interest to have them checked by a pediatric pulmonology specialist as soon as possible. The sooner they receive a diagnosis, the greater chance of remission or manageable asthma. 

Continue reading to learn about childhood asthma remission. 

Understanding Asthma Remission 

Asthma remission requires a (1 – 3 years) absence of asthma symptoms without pharmacological drugs. Generally, when childhood asthma is in remission, you can expect: 

  • Significantly decreased need for Asthma controller inhalers 
  • No asthma attacks or necessity for emergency relief medication 
  • Involvement in sporting activities without asthma complications 
  • Reduced (or no) need for asthma-related ER visits or doctor appointments
  • Consistently better breathing while awake and asleep 

It’s important to note that children with severe asthma are less likely to undergo remission. Further, only about 2 – 6% of people diagnosed with asthma later in life experience remission. 

Will My Child Outgrow Their Asthma? 

Your child will not “outgrow” asthma. However, approximately 33% of children diagnosed with asthma will eventually experience remission. Although, it’s important to note that many individuals who experience remission are still susceptible to asthma triggers for the rest of their lives. 

Can Asthma Return After Remission? 

Yes. Asthma can return and, in many cases, does return at some point after remission. Since the onset of asthma irreversibly changes lung function due to inflammation, it’s essential to understand specific asthma triggers that can reignite asthma or severe symptoms. 

Even people who don’t have any asthma symptoms for 5 – 10 years can one day find themselves reaching for their inhalers again. With that in mind, a few of the most common asthma triggers include, but are not limited to: 

  • Allergies
  • Colds and infections 
  • Cold weather conditions 
  • Second-hand smoke or smoking anything (i.e., cigarettes, cigars, marijuana, vape, etc.)
  • Strenuous exercise 
  • Stress and anxiety

A person’s family medical history determines whether their asthma will return or stay in remission. Further, eczema and allergies also increase the risk of returning asthma symptoms. 

How to Manage Asthma Symptoms in Children

There is a chance that you can’t wholely prevent asthma symptoms from reoccurring in children as they age. However, early diagnosis, consistent management, medication, and staying away from triggers can limit the likelihood of severe asthma symptoms in the future. 

Continue Taking Medication 

Asthma medications like long-term controllers used consistently can drastically reduce and prevent many asthma symptoms from returning. It’s essential to help your child take their medication regularly, even if they don’t think they need it. 

Once they stop taking prescribed asthma medications, their symptoms could return and become more severe. That could lead to the need for emergency inhaler use, ER visits, and more complications. 

Before you consider taking your child off of asthma medication, consult your pediatric pulmonology physician. 

Avoid Triggers 

Asthma triggers are more dangerous than you may think. If your child experienced reduced asthma symptoms or remission, just one encounter with a trigger could reverse all of the progress. 

Generally, the best way to keep your child away from triggers includes: 

  • Giving children allergy medication when necessary 
  • Checking for pet allergies and taking the appropriate steps 
  • Dusting your home regularly
  • Keep children away from second-hand smoke 
  • Avoid cold-weather exercises as much as possible 

If you or someone in your household is a smoker, they should stop. If a child continually experiences second-hand smoke, it could worsen asthma symptoms now and make remission in the future less likely.

Get Allery Shots (if applicable)

If your child has allergy-induced asthma, it’s maybe necessary to get them regular allergy shots (i.e., immunotherapy). It’s particularly beneficial for children with seasonal allergies as it assists in building immunity while they are young, thus decreasing their risk for more severe asthma as they age. 

Contact a Pediatric Pulmonology Specialist Today

With proper care, medication, and treatment, it is possible for asthma in children to go into remission eventually. However, it’s important to remember that asthma is a chronic disease that never “goes away.” 

Working with an experienced pediatric pulmonology specialist can help to: 

  • Diagnose asthma early 
  • Treat asthma symptoms the suitable therapies, medications, and plans
  • Diagnose co-occurring medical conditions 
  • Increase the chances of reduced asthma symptoms or remission

Contact Newport Children’s Medical Group today to schedule your child’s first visit with our world-class pediatric pulmonology team.