Does asthma go away?
Asthma is a chronic condition caused by inflammation and mucus in the narrowed airways, resulting in lung constriction and difficulty breathing.
While the condition can go into remission, it’s important to know that you can also experience an asthma relapse after your symptoms have gone away. But several methods can help you achieve asthma remission and prevent a relapse.
Is asthma curable?
Asthma is not curable, and you can’t outgrow the condition, but you can experience reduced symptoms.
People who have asthma as children can go into remission later in life and see their symptoms subside. But around a third of children with asthma will see their symptoms return in adulthood.
The condition narrows your airways and makes airflow harder, which causes changes in your lungs. This means symptoms can come back when you encounter an asthma trigger.
Although there’s no cure, you can be symptom-free for a long period of time through proper management and treatment.
How can you tell if your asthma is in remission?
If you are in remission from asthma, you will not have experienced any asthma symptoms or the need to take anti-inflammatory medications to manage your symptoms for 12 months or longer.
According to a 2014 study, you can experience complete asthma remission when you’re symptom-free for more than 3 years without relapse and the need for asthma medications in the last year.
You experience asthma remission when:
- you no longer have asthma attacks
- you don’t have to use an inhaler or other quick-relief medications to manage your symptoms as often
- you can perform physical activities, exercises, and sports that are moderate to intense
- your sleep improves
A 2022 study estimates that asthma remission can vary between 2–52% among adults with asthma.
What can trigger an asthma relapse?
Asthma symptoms can return after the condition has gone into remission. Several triggers can lead to a relapse, such as:
- allergens, such as dust, pollen, and mold
An asthma relapse can depend on the severity of your condition. If your asthma is milder, your chances of experiencing a relapse are lower. If your asthma is more severe, your chances of having a relapse are higher.
Your family history can also determine whether you will experience an asthma relapse.
How to prevent asthma from coming back
If you experience remission of your condition, you can prevent symptoms from returning with proper management and treatment. This includes lifestyle measures and taking preventive medications.
Some strategies that help prevent asthma symptoms from coming back are:
- avoiding indoor and outdoor asthma triggers, such as allergens
- if you smoke, considering quitting, or if you don’t, avoiding contact with tobacco smoke
- trying to reduce stress
- increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
These are several asthma medications that can help manage or prevent your symptoms.
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Albuterol is a medication that helps relax the muscles around your airways so you can breathe more easily. Brand names of albuterol include ProAir (a quick relief drug) and Ventolin (an inhaler).
The medication is available in several forms, such as:
- extended-release tablet
- inhalation powder
- nebulizer solution
- oral syrup
It’s important to know that taking albuterol can cause difficulty breathing (also known as paradoxical bronchospasm). If you do experience this, you should discontinue the medication right away and speak with a healthcare professional who can suggest a different medication.
Montelukast sodium (singulair) is an anti-inflammatory drug that helps manage asthma symptoms by blocking the chemicals in your body called leukotrienes. Your body releases them when you come into contact with an allergen.
The medication can stop your airway passages from constricting and ease symptoms such as difficulty breathing.
It’s important to know that taking montelukast sodium can cause serious mental health changes during or after use.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about this in 2008. Since then, there has been considerable additional research on the topic. In a 2022 study involving over 70,000 Singulair users, adverse mental health issues occurred in approximately 1.7% of people with asthma taking the medication.
You should speak with a healthcare professional immediately if you experience side effects such as:
Mometasone and formoterol
Mometasone and formoterol (Dulera) is a combination medication that helps relax the muscles in your airways and can help make breathing easier. You take it via an inhaler, and it can help manage asthma symptoms in those 12 years old and above.
Prednisone (Rayos) is a corticosteroid (a type of steroid) that helps reduce inflammation in your airways. It’s available in both tablet and liquid form.
As your asthma goes into remission, you will see a reduction in the need for these medications to help manage your symptoms.
Asthma is a chronic condition caused by inflammation and mucus in the narrowed airways, resulting in lung constriction and difficulty breathing. Chronic changes to the lungs and heightened sensitivity to specific allergens make it an incurable condition.
Still, asthma can go into remission. This happens when you experience an extended period without symptoms or the need for medications to manage the condition.
While symptoms can still return after remission, you can prevent an asthma relapse through proper management and treatment, such as taking preventive medications and using lifestyle strategies.
Consider speaking with a healthcare professional to determine which treatments will work best for you.
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