Question: What is the prognosis for asthma?
Answer: Asthma is a disorder that affects individuals of essentially any age group. While it is particularly common in children, it may persist for decades. In general, once an asthmatic, long-term an asthmatic. That doesn't mean that the asthma will always be as severe as it might be initially. And it is also true that asthma, while it waxes and wanes, may be more severe at certainly times of the year or in certain years than others. There are certain things that exacerbate asthma such as viral infections and those may also predispose to a more severe asthma episode.
The prognosis of asthma is generally quite good. The therapies that are available are excellent and control of asthma is generally quite easily achieved. It may take more work for some than others and it does take perseverance in using the treatments that are prescribed. But in general, asthma is not associated with long-term severe respiratory consequences.
It is true that as we age, all of us lose some lung function so that our lung function at 80 is not what it was when we were 30. In asthmatics, particularly asthmatics who smoke, the lung function loss may be more rapid. And it is possible that there are some long-term consequences of asthma in terms of loss of respiratory function. It's one of the reasons we are so adamant about individuals treating their asthma effectively and not worrying so much about some of the theoretical side effects ofdrugs, but instead making sure their asthma is well controlled. Obviously, smoking in asthma is definitely a no-no.
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