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How Did My Childhood Experience With Wheezing Shape My Adult Asthma Life?

I was part of that generation where asthma was certainly thought to be something that you may be able to “grow out of”. What I have been learning is, that asthma is thought to be in remission; some may grow out of it and some may just be in remission. Until recently, I had no idea that there was even a difference. On a quest for more knowledge, yes, I am always on a quest for more knowledge, I have learned just what that may mean.

Firstly, I had to figure out what “remission” actually means in this circumstance. I look through a study and journal articles and for the most part, Asthma remission is considered to be
“Remission was defined as no use of asthma medication and no wheeze during the past 12 months” 1 The data was overwhelming in stating that asthma remissions in childhood are very common 2,3 Other important definitions to consider are the definition of persistent asthma refers to the duration of your asthma symptoms. It is important to know that persistent asthma generally also has an associated severity with it. This can be mild, moderate or severe. 4 Periodic/intermittent asthma in child populations is considered to be a child who has symptoms less than twice per week, nighttime flares that occur less than twice a month at most. Outside of the times the child is free of asthma symptoms 4

There is a lot to know about YOUR asthma

This had me thinking a lot about what I know about my own asthma. It is amazing how razor sharp our parent’s memories can be in this regard. My mom claims that I was a constant wheezer. There are some connections to childhood wheezing before the age of 3 and the development of asthma symptoms. 5 Researchers are working on identifying the connections between wheezing before the age of 3 and the prevalence of asthma. They have been correlated with different phenotypes to the occurrences of wheezing. There is still work to be done this area, however these are greats steps. It looks like my wheezing started before the age of 3, in particular at the age of 2 years. I have had some other correlations to the ongoing research, in particular to the research being done in identifying pediatric phenotypes. An area of development in the phenotype department are some of the theories around airway obstruction in pediatrics and linkages to children that do not reach their maximal growth of lung function in childhood. This research is even been explored in the space of linkages to childhood COPD. A rarity but still an occurrence. 6 I had no idea! I have child size lungs in my adult body, my physicians have theories about me not having reached my maximal growth of lung function. While my case would relate to lung development limitation to physical growth and there is much research still to be done in the area, there are thoughts that this may have something to do with my maximal lung function growth.

I look forward to learning more about the work about the research being done. Stay tuned!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

1. Remission and Persistence of Asthma Followed From 7 to 19 Years of Age Martin Andersson, Linnea Hedman, Anders Bjerg, Bertil Forsberg, Bo Lundbäck, Eva Rönmark Pediatrics Aug 2013, 132 (2) e435-e442; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2013-0741 2. Strachan DP. The epidemiology of childhood asthma. Allergy1999;54:7–11. 3. Barbee RA, Murphy S. The natural history of asthma. J Allergy Clin Immunol1998;102:S65–72. 4. 5. 6.


  • tui2
    2 years ago

    My experience with childhood asthma back in the 1950s seems to have affected my adult experience with asthma. I’ve been told that the damage to my lungs from untreated asthma led to my difficulties now. Lung function tests indicate COPD, but my doctor believes the test results are actually due to lack of treatment until my 20s. I’m now using Stiolto and that medicine combined with swimming 3 times a week has made a tremendous difference.

  • John Bottrell, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Neat article, Dia. Interestingly, my mom said I was diagnosed with asthma at the age of two. And before that, I was a constant wheezer and loud breather. Also interesting, the reason she said she remembers it was because the noises I made while breathing irritated my older brother. And so many times as a kid I was told my asthma would go away as I got older. Despite them telling me this, I never really got my hopes up — which was a good thing considering I never did outgrow it. I like the newer strategy of telling kids it “might” go into remission. I think that prevents kids (and parents too) from getting their hopes up to only be let down. Again — Great Article!

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