What Causes Asthma?
It isn’t clear why some people develop asthma and others don’t. There are a variety of environmental and genetic (inherited) factors that play a role in you developing the condition.
Some common asthma triggers are;
- Exposure to pollen, dust mites, mould spores or pet dander
- Chest infections
- Physical activity (exercise-induced asthma)
- Cold air
- Pollution or second hand smoke
- Certain medications, including beta blockers, aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve)
- Sulfites and preservatives added to some types of foods and beverages, including shrimp, dried fruit, processed potatoes, beer and wine
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which stomach acids back up into your throat
There are a number of risk factors that could increase your chances of developing asthma.
- A blood relative with asthma
- If you suffer from another allergic condition, such as atopic dermatitis or allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
- Being overweight
- Being a smoker
- Secondhand smoke
- Exhaust fumes or other types of pollution
- Chemicals used in farming, hairdressing and manufacturing
Sometimes complications can occur, these can include:
- Signs and symptoms that interfere with sleep, work or recreational activities
- Absence from work or school
- Permanent narrowing of the bronchial tubes (airway remodelling) that affects how well you can breathe
- Emergency room visits and hospitalisations for severe asthma attacks
- Side effects from long-term use of some medications used to stabilise severe asthma
As a result getting the right treatment can make a big difference in preventing both short-term and long-term complications caused by asthma. It’s important to contact your G.P. if you suspect you have the condition.