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"Does asthma ever "go away" over time?"


I am 18 years old. I have suffered with asthma for over half of my life. I am a very competitive and serious athlete. Asthma has normally put me down from my competition but lately it has seemed to die down a bit. I have allergy-induced and exercise-induced asthma. Will I always be prone to asthma attacks my whole life? Or does it go away?


Asthma is an unfortunate problem to have to deal with, but you are correct in hoping that your symptoms might improve over time. For reasons that aren't completely clear, many people will find that their coughing, difficulty breathing, and other symptoms all tend to improve as they age. That being said, like most diseases, asthma is very personal and can be different for each individual.

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The best thing to do is to meet regularly with your family practice doctor or the medicine doctor that has been following you, and establish a good relationship with an internist now that you are in need of an adult doctor rather than a pediatrician. We are fortunate to live in a time when the medications that are available help to limit the effects of many diseases such as asthma. With proper management and alterations in your medications as needed to control your symptoms, it is quite possible for many people to continue as very competitive athletes whether their disease improves in and of itself or not. As for your allergies, many people will also feel that these improve over time, but it is also very person-dependent. Please continue to meet with your physician regularly as needed to optimize your control of your asthma.

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