Asthma affects the airways and lungs. For many people, asthma seems to go away with age. However, there is no cure, and the symptoms may return.

Asthma is a common health condition in many parts of the world. In developed countries, it affects 15–20% of people.

It is a chronic condition that causes the airways to become inflamed and swollen, which affects the lungs and leads to breathing difficulties.

There can be various triggers, such as allergens, viruses, and pollutants, and they vary from person to person.

Asthma symptoms typically come and go in cycles, which can relate to exposure to triggers. By carefully avoiding their triggers, some people can have a degree of control over their symptoms.

This article explores why asthma symptoms can go away with time, and it looks at some triggers and treatments.

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As a 2021 review explains, the inflammation responsible for asthma symptoms is often a response to certain triggers. If a person has no exposure to their triggers, the symptoms may temporarily disappear. Reducing the exposure to triggers may reduce the potential for symptoms.

A person’s asthma symptoms may also disappear or lessen due to the effects of asthma medication.

Some asthma symptoms include:

Asthma has no cure, so there is always the chance that the symptoms may reappear or worsen.

Sometimes, the symptoms reappear after long periods of absence. People with asthma must monitor their condition throughout their lives.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) lists many of the more common triggers, including:

  • stress
  • tobacco smoke
  • air pollution
  • certain infections, such as influenza
  • certain medicines, such as aspirin
  • cold or stormy weather

Allergens can also trigger asthma symptoms. The institute’s Asthma Action Plan describes many asthma-causing allergens, including:

  • dust mites
  • rodents
  • cockroaches
  • animal dander
  • mold, both indoor and outdoor
  • pollen

By limiting exposure to allergens and other triggers, people with asthma can reduce the likelihood of symptoms. But avoiding these triggers is not always possible. For example, some people have jobs that require them to be around dust, pollutants, or pollen.

Steps to help lower the risk of asthma symptoms worsening include:

  • quitting smoking
  • managing pests and mold in the home
  • keeping the home as dust-free as possible
  • keeping pets outdoors to reduce levels of dander in the home
  • changing clothes after coming indoors to limit indoor exposure to pollen

These strategies may reduce the risk of asthma symptoms, but there is no guaranteed way to prevent them.

It is also worth noting that asthma symptoms can result from other health issues, such as a cold.

Learn more about asthma triggers here.

Around 66% of asthma diagnoses are in people under 18.

Diagnosing asthma can be difficult. A 2019 review suggests that doctors misdiagnose it in around 28% of cases. This may be because the condition is common and has a broad set of symptoms.

First, a doctor asks about symptoms and any family history of lung problems. They check the person’s medical history and may then conduct several tests before diagnosing asthma.

For example, doctors might use a spirometry test, which measures how much and how quickly a person can exhale.

In some cases, a doctor may ask a person to record where they were and what they were doing when they experienced symptoms to help identify possible triggers.

Asthma treatment aims to reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms. There is currently no cure for asthma, but effective treatments can improve the quality of life.

Avoiding triggers is a good way to reduce the risk of symptoms. Recording symptoms and environmental factors in a log can help people pinpoint their triggers.

Treating asthma mainly involves inhaling medications when symptoms start to worsen. These include bronchodilators, such as beta-2 agonists. They widen the airways to treat breathing problems.

In some cases, doctors may prescribe corticosteroid and other anti-inflammatory medications to reduce severe inflammation.

Learn more about asthma treatments here.

Asthma is a common condition that can cause significant breathing difficulty. The symptoms tend to come and go, depending on the person’s exposure to triggers, such as dust, mold, and air pollution.

By limiting exposure to triggers and taking prescribed medications, people can manage asthma and have a significantly improved quality of life.