What causes Asthma?

What causes Asthma?

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.

Asthma triggers

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)
  • Stress
  • 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

Risk factors

There are a number of risk factors that could increase your chances of developing asthma.

These include:

  • 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

Complications

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.

An Introduction to Asthma

An Introduction to Asthma

What is asthma?

Asthma is a common lung condition that causes occasional breathing difficulties.

It’s estimated that 300 million people worldwide suffer from it. It is a chronic lung condition characterised by recurrent breathing problems. Sufferers experience symptoms such as breathlessness, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing.

Our airways carry air in and out of your lungs. If you have asthma, they are very sensitive. Certain things can trigger the muscles around your airways to tighten, making them narrower. The airway lining also becomes inflamed causing a build-up of sputum. This makes them even narrower still. With narrow airways, it’s harder to get air in and out of your lungs1.

It affects people of all ages and often starts in childhood, although it can also develop for the first time in adults.

There’s currently no cure. However there are simple treatments that can help keep the symptoms under control so it doesn’t have a big impact on your life 2.

Find out more about the condition here.

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