Asthma – Causes and Triggers

Asthma – Causes and Triggers

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Asthma – Causes and Triggers 

The precise cause of asthma is currently unknown. given the seriousness of this condition future genetics are working to discover the underlying cause of this disease and how and why it affects people in different ways.

We know that people with asthma either respond to ‘asthma triggers’ such as dust smoke or pollen that result in the swelling of the airway passages connecting the mouth to the lungs. That swelling or inflammation process causes the release of a sticky fluid called mucus that can potentially clog the parts of the airway in addition to the narrowing of the passageways.

We know that asthma is a multi-factorial condition where lifestyle, the environment and also the genetic makeup of a person plays a role in this condition. There is considerable uncertainty around the cause so future genetics are focused on trying to find an answer to the question about what ultimately causes asthma.

People who may be at risk of asthma.
There are a number of known risk factors that may increase the risk of developing asthma such as:

  1. An allergy based condition, for example eczema, hay fever or a food allergy. These types of allergy based conditions are called atopic conditions
  2. There is a family history of asthma and or an atopic condition
  3. Previously had bronchitis as a child
  4. Being exposed to tobacco smoke as a child
  5. Mother smoking tobacco products during pregnancy
  6. Born prematurely which would be before 37 weeks
  7. Having a low birth weight

Some people develop asthma through continued exposure to something that becomes n asthma trigger for them

Triggers for asthma
People start to present with asthma symptoms when they are exposed to a factor that acts as an asthma trigger for them. There are a number of common triggers that include;

  1. Infections such as the common cold or flu
  2. Having allergies for example hay fever
  3. Exposure to smoke fumes or pollution
  4. Certain medicines, for example anti inflammatory painkilling drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen
  5. Emotions that may be exaggerated, such as laughing too much or being considerably stressed
  6. Sudden changes in climate like thunderstorms heat or humidity
  7. Environments where it is cold or damp
  8. Exercising.

Near the start of this presentation I highlighted the point that being aware of your asthma triggers is useful so they can be avoided.