Causes of Asthma and Asthma Triggers
Asthma is a chronic long term illness which a person of any age can develop. It is
characterised by coughing, wheezing and tightness of chest and the severity of symptoms can range from person to
person. Some people may have severe symptoms whilst others may only have a slight wheeze. Even though asthma can't
be cured, it can for most people be relatively well controlled.
Asthma Cause Theories
There are a number of theories in the medical
world about what causes asthma, but the prevailing causes are thought to be mainly 2 factors which include
environmental and genetic factors, asthma is also found to be more common in women than it is in men.
An asthma attack is triggered when someone is
brought into contact with a "trigger" that irritates their airways, the muscles surrounding the airways start to
swell and tighten up thus causing them to constrict and make breathing difficult. If the cause is due to infection
there can also be mucus and or phlegm present. An asthma attack if severe enough may require the person to be
admitted to hospital, luckily however most people can control their asthma attacks via preventative measures or
medication they keep with them at all times in case of attacks. Unfortunately a person who suffers from long term
severe asthma may find they have permanently narrowed airways which makes breathing a chronic problem for
There have been studies conducted within recent years which have shown a rise in
the prevalence of asthma (especially in children) since the 1970's and it has been suggested this can be attributed
to the rise in the use of irritants such as pesticides and household cleaners. Therefore it's thought that if a
person is genetically predisposed to asthma, then the modern world contains a host of triggers which can make
asthma attacks much worse and despite modern medical control of asthma there were 250,000 deaths from this illness
worldwide in 2009/10.
If children are diagnosed with asthma there is a possibility that the symptoms
will disappear as they grow older unfortunately though there is a very high possibility that they will return later
on in life especially if their symptoms were relatively severe as children. The medical world doesn't really know
what causes asthma but what they are sure of is the fact that it does tend to run in families, in other words if
one of your parents has asthma then the chances of you or your siblings developing it are higher than if they
Anything that is found to irritate the airways in an Asthmatic is known as a
"trigger". Triggers differ from person to person and whilst there are a number of triggers asthmatics share, most
have their own personal triggers which may set off an asthma attack in themselves but not necessarily in another
person suffering from asthma. If you're an asthmatic the secret is to find your own triggers and avoid them as much
Common triggers tend to include:
* Pollen, especially in the spring and summer when its most plentiful
* Cigarette smoke, smoking should especially be avoided if you're an asthmatic, fumes
from chemicals etc can also act as a trigger.
* Extreme cold air
* Chest ailments and infections
* Animal fur including cats and dogs etc.
* Extreme exercise
* Emotion, laughing and crying can be a trigger for some people.
With asthmatics as with anything else, prevention is much better than
cure, if you are an asthmatic then ensuring your condition is controlled and treated should be your highest
priority as if left unattended your condition may worsen over time. For most people asthma can be controlled and
only a little thought and common sense is needed to ensure your quality of life is not compromised.
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