Two desks juxtaposed to one another. One is the messy and dirt covered desk of a young child with many different medications to control their asthma. The other is a clean and organized adult's desk with a single medication.

4 Reasons Why My Asthma Improved Over Time

Sometimes I like to speculate about my asthma.

When I was a kid I had severe asthma that was poorly controlled. I had frequent and horrible asthma attacks. I had many unscheduled doctor appointments, emergency room visits, and hospital admissions.

As an adult, my asthma is pretty well controlled. Sure, I still experience asthma symptoms from time to time. Yet they are usually mild and easy to reverse with treatment. I still require a few unscheduled doctor visits. But rarely have I utilized an ER. And only once have I been admitted to a hospital over the past 30 years for asthma

Why has my asthma improved?

So, this begs the question: Why has my asthma improved over time? There is no scientific method to show how or why my asthma improved. So, this is a perfect time to utilize a combination of my asthma education, experience, and common sense.

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That said, here are my four theories explaining why my asthma improved over time.

My airways got bigger

One of my doctors gave me this idea. When I was a boy my airways were small and narrow. Since my airways were so small, they were easily obstructed. Exposure to any of my triggers set off a severe asthma attack. I was said to have brittle asthma. As I grew taller, my lungs got bigger and airways larger or wider. The same asthma attacks may occur. But, they obstruct less of my larger airways. The result here is milder asthma attacks. 

Less exposure to asthma triggers

As a kid, I was more likely to be exposed to my asthma triggers. What do kids do? They crawl under porches and are exposed to mold spores. They cut the grass and inhale grass pollen. They run around the dusty, musty basement. They play football on a snowy day. They rake leaves and dive into the leaf piles. They run into the woods and build lean-to shelters. They build forts and play inside them. As one grows older one gets away from these activities, meaning fewer asthma attacks.

Better compliance with asthma treatment regimens

Learning about asthma triggers and learning how to avoid them is helpful. So too is learning what medicines work best and taking them exactly as prescribed. As a kid, I have to admit I wasn’t always compliant. As an adult, I make sure to follow my treatment plan. I’m not perfect, although I have learned good compliance is a great way to obtain and maintain good asthma control

Better asthma medicines

This is a huge reason my asthma has improved. As a kid, my steroid inhaler was Vanceril and later Azmacort. The medicine lasted only four hours for me. So, I had to use them four times a day to gain their full effect. I also had to take eight puffs of Azmacort. Now, you try to be compliant with that while also trying to be normal. You go to school. You are out playing with the kids. And now you have to go in to take your inhaler? Yeah. It didn’t always happen.

Today, there are many asthma controller medicines. And almost all of them take 1-2 puffs daily for me. So, they are stronger and they last longer. This, I think, was one of the main reasons my asthma has improved over time.

I'm lucky my asthma has improved

My asthma is pretty well controlled these days.

This may because my airways are bigger and less twitchy. I also do a better job today of controlling my triggers. One example of how I do this is by my purchase of an asthma-friendly home. Modern medicines like Symbicort and Singulair are also very helpful.

So, I’m one of the lucky ones. My asthma has gotten better over time. So, what about you? Has your asthma gotten better over time?

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