Can You Grow Out of Asthma?

  • 1st Revision: Manisha Kuttetira
  • 2nd Revision: Wasi Karim
  • 3rd Revision: Emma Soopramanien

Introduction to Asthma

In 2019, asthma afflicted an estimated 262 million individuals, resulting in 461,000 fatalities 5. The disorder is characterised by acute, fully reversible airway inflammation that commonly occurs by a trigger. The process begins with the inhalation of an irritant or allergen. This causes airway inflammation and increased mucus production due to bronchial hypersensitivity. 

Asthma is a widespread disease that affects approximately 15% to 20% of the population in developed countries and 2% to 4% of people in developing countries more prevalent in children than in other age groups 5

Regardless of lung function testing, up to 40% of children will develop wheezing at some point, most often diagnosed as asthma.

Asthma is more common in children assigned male at birth, with a male to female ratio of 2:1 until puberty, where the likelihood is equal for both sexes. People assigned female at birth are more likely to develop asthma after puberty, and adult-onset cases after the age of 40 are primarily female. Due to airway reactivity and improper functioning of the lungs, asthma prevalence is higher at extreme ages 5.

Approximately 66% of asthma cases are detected before the age of 18. During early adulthood, over half of the children with asthma have a reduction in severity or complete cessation of symptoms.  

Symptoms of Asthma

Common symptoms of asthma include:

  • Tightness in the chest
  • Pain in the chest
  • Fatigue
  • Increasing pulse rate
  • Breathlessness
  • Coughing
  • Agitation
  • Inability to do any physical activity

Can you Grow out of Asthma? 

Unfortunately, asthma is not completely curable. However, there may be periods when asthma attacks and other symptoms do not occur. While these are welcome respites, they do not imply that your asthma has gone away. Instead, spending months without an asthma attack is a testimonial to your asthma management strategy 4.

 You are doing well by avoiding asthmatic triggers, taking your medicine, or a combination of the two. You may have heard of children who suddenly quit having asthmatic symptoms, where they don't have any further respiratory problems and get on with their lives. Is there any truth to this, or is it simply a legend? Is it possible for you to grow out of your asthma?

To begin with, outgrowing asthma is entirely dependent on one's age. A patient with symptoms might be very young, perhaps even in infancy. Children this age are more likely to suffer wheezing and viral respiratory infections than full-blown asthma. This raises the question of whether or not these children had asthma in the first place. 

Even if symptoms can be outgrown, it is entirely dependent on the environment in which the baby or child grows up. If both parents suffer from frequent asthma or allergy attacks, the likelihood of the child outgrowing their illness is slim. Additionally, if one or both parents smoke, if the child already has allergies, or if they were diagnosed with atopic dermatitis, it is more likely for them to have asthma for the rest of their lives 5.

Some factors determine whether or not a youngster will outgrow their asthma symptoms. The first is one's environment, as aforementioned - another example is if a child inhales smoke while growing up in a home where parents smoke cigarettes; this can harm a child's lungs and could have a role in their asthmatic predisposition. Also, a child's health is a major factor in their asthmatic future. If they have other health problems, such as wheezing, respiratory infections, or other illnesses, asthma is more likely to persist. However, it is important to note that the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) claims that outgrowing asthma is impossible 5.

Triggers for asthma attacks

Here are some triggers that cause an asthma attack:

  • Smoking
  • Weather
  • Food (e.g. fish, soy, peanuts, eggs, wheat, shrimp)
  • Heartburn
  • Medications (Many people having asthma have some sensitivity towards aspirin, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors) 1

How to Minimise your risk of an Asthma Attack

  • Limiting exposure to allergens    
  • Avoid common household triggers:
    • To get rid of dust mites, change your bed linens regularly and wash your bed sheets and pillow coverings in hot water.
    • Install an air purifier in the bedroom to reduce the number of dust mites.
    • To minimise moisture and prevent mould from growing in your house, use a dehumidifier.
    • To avoid dust accumulation, vacuum your floor at least twice a week.
  • Avoid inhaling cigarette smoke
  • Avoid getting the flu: It has been observed that people suffering from asthma face some complications when having the flu. So, getting vaccinated for the flu may be beneficial 3,6.
  • Physical Activity: Even for those with asthma, physical activity is vital for general health. One of the goals of asthma treatment is to assist you in leading a normal and healthy lifestyle, which includes exercise and other forms of physical activity.
  • Medication: There are many medications available for the prevention of asthma including inhalers, and oral and intravenous corticosteroids. There are also some allergy injections 3.


Asthma is a common non-communicable disease (NCD) that affects children and adults alike. Asthma symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness due to inflammation and constriction of the tiny airways in the lungs.

In low- and middle-income nations, asthma is frequently misdiagnosed and undertreated. Sleep disturbances, fatigue during the day, and poor focus are all symptoms of untreated asthma. 

The most frequent chronic condition among children is asthma. Inhaled medicine can help patients with asthma manage their symptoms and live active lives. Avoiding the triggers of asthma can greatly help minimise the symptoms.


  1. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (2013). Introduction to Asthma. [online] Available at:  [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022].
  2. Hashmi, M., Tariq, M. and Cataletto, M. (2022). Asthma. StatPearls. [online] Available at:  [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022].
  3. Healthline. (2021). Can Asthma Go Away? What to Know About Symptom Remission. [online] Available at: 
  4. read, D.S.J.M.-A.-1. · 6 mins (2019). Can you grow out of asthma? [online] Available at:
  5. Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center (2021). Can You Outgrow Asthma? | Carolina Asthma & Allergy. [online] Available at:  [Accessed 16 Feb. 2022].
  6. CHUNG, O.K. (2017). 7 Ways to Prevent Asthma Attacks. [online] Mount Elizabeth Hospital. Available at: .
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Ankita Thakur

Postgraduate Degree, MSc. Biotechnology and Management, University of Glasgow
Experienced as a Healthcare Management Intern and Healthcare Writer.

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