Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways. Asthma is caused by environmental and genetic factors. These factors influence how severe asthma is and how well it responds to medication. It is mostly a common disease in children especially children who have low birth weight, are exposed to tobacco, smoke, are black, and are raised in a low-income environment. Young boys are more likely to develop asthma than young girls, but this trend reverses during adulthood. Researchers hypothesize that this is due to the smaller size of a young male’s airway compared to a young female’s airway, leading to a higher risk of wheezing after a viral infection.
Here are some factors which may causes asthma:
Almost all asthma suffers have allergies. Allergic reactions triggered by antibodies in the blood often lead to the airway inflammation that is associated with asthma. Common sources of indoor allergens include animal proteins (mostly cat and dog allergens), dust mites, cockroaches, and fungi. It is possible that the push towards energy-efficient homes has increased exposure to these causes of asthma.
2. Tobacco smoke
Tobacco smoke has been linked to a higher risk of asthma as well as a higher risk of death due to asthma, wheezing, and respiratory infections. In addition, children of mothers who smoke – and other people exposed to second-hand smoke – have a higher risk of asthma prevalence. Adolescent smoking has also been associated with increases in asthma risk.
3. Enviromental factors
Pollution, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, ozone, cold temperatures, and high humidity have all been shown to trigger asthma in some individuals. During periods of heavy air pollution, there tend to be increases in asthma symptoms and hospital admissions. Smoggy conditions release the destructive ingredient known as ozone, causing coughing, shortness of breath, and even chest pain. These same conditions emit sulfur dioxide, which also results in asthma attacks by constricting airways. Weather changes also been known to stimulate asthma attacks.
Overweight adults are 38% more likely to have asthma more likely to have asthma compared to adults who are not overweight. Obese adults have twice the risk of asthma. According to some researchers, the risk may be greater for nonallergic asthma than allergic asthma.
Babies born by Caesarean sections have a 20% increase in asthma prevalence compared to babies born by vaginal birth. It is possible that immune system-modifying infections from bacterial exposure during Cesarean sections are responsible for this difference. When mothers smoke during pregnancy, their children have lower pulmonary function. This may pose additional asthma risks. Research has also shown that premature birth is a risk factor for developing asthma.
People who undergo stress have higher asthma rates. Part of this may be explained by increases in asthma-related behaviors such as smoking that are encouraged by stress. However, recent research has suggested that the immune system is modified by stress as well.
Genes linked to asthma also play roles in managing the immune system and inflammation. There have not, however, been consistent results from genetic studies across populations – so further investigations are required to figure out the complex interactions that cause asthma. Mom and Dad may be partially to blame for asthma, since three-fifths of all asthma cases are hereditary.
8. Airways Hyperractivity
Researchers are not sure why airway hyperreactivity is another risk factor for asthma, but allergens or cold air may trigger hyperreactive airways to become inflamed. Some people do not develop asthma from airway hyperreactivity, but hyperreactivity still appears to increase the risk of asthma.
Atopy – such as eczema (atopic dermatitis), allergic rhinitis (hay fever), allergic conjunctivitis (an eye condition) – is a general class of allergic hypersensitivity that affects different parts of the body that do not come in contact with allergens. Atopy is a risk factor for developing asthma. Some 40% to 50% of children with atopic dermatitis also develop asthma, and it is probable that children with atopic dermatitis have more severe and persistent asthma as adults.