Asthma is a Chronic Lung Condition, but Can You Outgrow It?


The health of our children is of the utmost importance. All we want to do is make them feel better. When it comes to a chronic medical condition like asthma, the first question to the doctor might be, will they outgrow it? Many other questions come to mind like, what are the causes, symptoms?  Who is at risk, and how can we prevent or control flare ups?

Asthma is described as a chronic lung disease in which the air ways become narrow, making it difficult to get air in and out.  Usually, it starts with a trigger – an allergic reaction to a pet, pollen, or dust – that causes a chain reaction.  The air ways become inflamed, swollen, and very sensitive; the muscles tighten and more mucus is produced. All of this adds up to more and more narrowing of the air ways. Symptoms of an asthma attack include chest pain, difficulty breathing, wheezing, and coughing.

Asthma affects people of all ages, with an estimate of more than 22 million people in the United States. The exact cause remains unknown, but research shows strong genetic and environmental connections. The good news is that asthma is controllable. You can live with it and continue to do all the activities you enjoy.

But can your child outgrow asthma?

Symptoms can come and go as a child grows, and many kids with mild asthma may not experience symptoms as adults. However, most literature says you do not “outgrow” asthma; rather, the disease could be thought of as “in remission.”

Asthma is difficult to diagnose in small children, because the required tests are often very difficult for them. Children that exhibit severe asthma symptoms and sensitiveness to allergens are easier to diagnose. A correct diagnosis will help your doctor develop an appropriate treatment plan just for your child.  The goal of any treatment plan for asthma is preventative and quick relief from symptoms during flare ups.

At Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep, we can perform all the necessary tests to correctly diagnose your symptoms using spirometry, peak flow, and airway reactivity. The results of these tests are used to develop the perfect treatment plan to manage your child’s asthma.

Doctors Dennis Kellar, MD and Madhu Gundavaram, MD are both fellowship-trained in pulmonary medicine, and are highly experienced in treating patients with asthma and all breathing and pulmonary issues.  Call today for more information and to schedule an appointment in Crystal Lake or South Barrington.

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