Statistics reveal that the instances of Asthma in children are only going up. But the good news is that remission of asthma is possible.
Why it happens, and who it can happen to continues to be one of the medical mysteries of today, but several children do grow out of asthma. Various studies are being carried out in which the causes, occurrence and frequency of the remission are being studied, and although no conclusive findings have come to the fore yet, there are several calculated guesses that doctors vouch for.
But it is advisable to treat the possibility of a remission as chance rather than crediting it to medical treatment. Several children have been known to grow out of asthma by the time they reach teenage for no apparent reason. Doctors say that while kids may become asymptomatic, but the “chronic stuff” in their lungs probably doesn’t go away all their lives. The only way to conclusively tell is by conducting a biopsy of lung tissue, and this is not something doctors routinely do. And especially not in India where awareness is low, costs are high, and reliable medical care is the privilege of the rich.
In children with bronchial asthma, a regular use of doctor prescribed in-halers and medicines goes a long way in preventing repeated attacks of bronchial asthma, says Dr Sushila Kataria, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine Medanta the Medicity. “Also avoiding triggers like exposure to smoke, dust and pollens whenever possible is advisable,” guides Dr Kataria.
There are many reasons why it is possible for children suffering from asthma to grow out of it. One of them, and a not infrequent one at that, is the misdiagnosis of other diseases such as sinusitis as asthma. A child who is wheezing from a viral infection that has stayed for a long time for some reason may not necessarily have asthma. It is possible that they merely have over-sensitive breathing passages that are a holdover from the virus. But doctors defend this misdiagnosis because, they say, it is safer to treat a child whether or not he has asthma, because the benefits are great and the downsides few. If on growing up, the asthma goes away, no one is complaining, but if it does turn out to be asthma, it is best to be treating it from the earliest.
There are several other reasons for remission as well. As a child grows, so do the passageways of air within him. This eases the passage of air to and from his lungs making breathing easier and thus the inflammation of the airways, which is one of the main evidences of asthma tends to go unnoticed. Doctors also say that if a child has wheezing trouble only when they have what is called an upper respiratory virus or a cold, the symptoms may become less intense s the child grows up.
The cases of asthma that are unlikely to improve are those in which children are sensitive to various allergens from a very young age. Such cases of sensitivity like that to pollen or dust are more likely to remain without remission, say scientists. Some scientists are of the opinion that this is especially true if the asthma or asthma-like symptoms are more intense after the age of five.
But there are some cases on record in which children grow out of asthma even after the age of thirteen or fourteen. Even so, asthmatic symptoms do have the ability to flare up gain in later life, and doctors advise against assuming that asthma has completely vanished.
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