9 Reasons You Must Never Forget You Have Asthma

by John Bottrell Health Professional

In the first season of "The Biggest Loser" one of the final contestants lost a ton of weight, and he proclaimed in his ebulient New York accent something like, "The best part of losing all this weight is: my asthma is gone. Gone! GONE!!!"

This happens to a lot of people. The reason is because asthma is a strange disease, in that it can be bothersome one minute, and then it can go into remission for days, weeks, months and even years. In essence, it can appear to be gone, and weight loss, if you are diagnosed with obesity can help to limit asthma.

Yet it's not actually “gone,” it is likely in remission. And because it's not you must continue to know you still have asthma, and you should continue to work with your doctor. That's right: it's a myth that asthma can simply resolve or go away.

In some cases your asthma may get so much better your doctor may actually allow you to quit taking your asthma medicines. Again, this simply means that your condition is in remission or a dormant-like state.

The following are some reasons your asthma might seem to be resolved, and why you must never forget you have it:

  1. You are on the best asthma medicine: Some people have good control of their asthma because of the newer asthma medicines and treatments. Thus, if you stop taking your asthma controller medicines your asthma symptoms may come back.

  2. You never had asthma to begin with: Well, it probably doesn't happen to much any more, yet there are some diseases that can mimic asthma symptoms.

  3. You lost weight: Research suggests that obesity not only can make asthma worse, it can also make asthma medicines less effective. So it only makes sense that shedding those extra pounds will make your asthma seem to go away. If you forget you have asthma, you may forget the importance of keeping off the pounds.

  4. You are in better shape: Study after study has confirmed that exercise not only helps you maintain or lose weight, it also helps to make your heart and lungs stronger and work better. Good asthma control and exercise may go hand in hand.

  5. As an adult you have more control: When I was a kid we had a dog, and getting rid of it was not an option because my brothers would have thrown a fit. We also had a Michigan basement (half of it was sand), and Lord knows there were many asthma triggers down there such as molds and fungus. In this way, I had no control of my surroundings, and this made my asthma worse. As an adult I have complete control, and have made sure to limit asthma triggers in my home. Thus, if you forget you have asthma, you may actually move into a home filled with asthma triggers. A couple of studies have suggested pets are possible if you have asthma.

  6. You moved away from your asthma triggers: My asthma was bad when I was a kid, yet when I went off to college it seemed to disappeare. Chances are, in the confines of my dorm room, there were fewer molds and other asthma triggers. The result was fewer asthma triggers and fewer asthma symptoms. A portable HEPA filter in a room can help to reduce asthma symptoms.

  7. You don't roll around in the dirt anymore: Well, it's true. When we're kids, we tend to play outside with our friends, and we're more likely to be exposed to our asthma triggers, like dusts, molds, etc. As we grow up we move away from the ground, per se. We don't roll around in the wood chips and dust under swing sets and porches.

  8. Your Lungs become less sensitive as you age: So you're now able to sit in the hay shed without your asthma acting up. Chances are it's because as you grew older your airways became less sentitive to your old asthma triggers.

  9. Your lungs get bigger as you age: William E. Berger in Asthma for Dummies, writes, "As children grow, their lungs and airways become larger. If the amount of airway obstruction stays the same, the blockage may proportionally constitute a smaller part of the total airway diameter, thus resulting in fewer symptoms as an adult. It is very important that if your asthma is in remission (if you want to use that word), that you never forget that you still do have asthma." A process called airway remodeling may still happen so you may experience breathing issues later-in-life. The reason is simple: if you forget you have asthma, your symptoms may come back.

So be smart, stay wise to asthma facts by continuing to hang out with us on this site, and you'll continue to maintain good control of your asthma. With time, your asthma may also appear to be gone! Gone! GONE!!!

John Bottrell
Meet Our Writer
John Bottrell

John Bottrell is a registered Respiratory Therapist. He wrote for HealthCentral as a health professional for Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).