What is Asthma and Whom Does it Affect?
Asthma affects nearly twenty-five million people in the United States. Out of those twenty-five million, eighteen million of the people affected are adults. Certain factors make adults susceptible to asthma, including obesity, a family history of asthma, and even having influenza. But can you outgrow asthma?
Asthma is a condition that affects your airways and impacts your breathing. Asthma can cause your airways to narrow, swell, and produce mucus, which can make it difficult to breathe. An asthma attack can trigger coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. This condition affects different people in a range of ways. It can be a minor inconvenience or a major issue that can impact one’s regular daily activities. Unfortunately, it cannot be cured. But, controlling the symptoms is possible.
Can You Outgrow Asthma?
The answer is complicated because there is no cure for asthma. Experts have debated the issue for years. Most often, they have concluded that asthma cannot be outgrown. However, there are children who no longer have symptoms as they get older.
This raises the question as to whether they really ever had asthma in the first place. Experts have suggested that young children, specifically in infancy, rarely have asthma. Instead, they suffer from wheezing and viral respiratory conditions. For those young children who do have asthma, symptoms can appear less often as they grow older. This does not mean that they have outgrown the condition as they can reappear at any time.
One thing that experts agree on is that children can outgrow the symptoms. And, they say doing so is dependent on the environment in which they grow up. Below are some of the risk factors that can impact whether or not a child can outgrow the symptoms of asthma.
- Family History: If one or both parents have prevalent asthma or allergy attacks.
- Smoking: If one or both parents smoke.
- Certain Diagnoses: For example, a diagnosis of allergies. Also, a diagnosis of atopic dermatitis has been a known risk factor.
The probability of a child outgrowing their asthma symptoms depends heavily on their family history, environmental factors, and medical history.
How Do I Know If It’s Really Asthma?
Whether you are concerned your child has asthma, or if you yourself have asthma, various symptoms should alert you that it’s time to visit a doctor. Asthma can be life-threatening, so proper diagnosis and treatment are vital for your health. Below are some of the common symptoms associated with asthma.
- Chest pain or tightness
- Shortness of breath
- Coughing or wheezing (sometimes accompanied by a whistling sound)
If you have any of these symptoms, contact a medical professional. If these symptoms are present and have gotten worse, make the appointment your top priority. Respiratory issues can be life-threatening and you must take them seriously.
Treatment: Plans and Options
Multiple treatment options can reduce the prevalence of your symptoms and help you feel better. Below are some of the most common treatment options.
- Asthma Medications: Certain medications can reduce swelling in the airways and reduce mucus production.
- Bronchodilators: Also known as “inhalers.” They reduce coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath during an asthma attack.
- Asthma Nebulizers: Children may have difficulty using a traditional inhaler, so this method is more effective. The medication is provided in a mist form, making it’s easier for children to inhale.
- Prednisone: This is a short-term option for severe asthma symptoms. Using it for up to two weeks can drastically improve symptoms.
Respiratory Specialist in New York
If you are experiencing symptoms of asthma or if your asthma is getting worse, contact Dr. Shukla for help. He has over fifteen years of experience in addressing pulmonary and respiratory issues. He also runs one of the largest pediatric asthma programs in New York City, treating 5,000 children per year. Visit his website for a quick quiz to see if your symptoms are likely asthma. Contact Dr. Shukla and his team for an appointment and get your asthma under control.