Asthma can be a life debilitating disease. It is a serious medical condition that should never be taken lightly. If left untreated, asthma can lead to death. People with the condition who do not get immediate asthma help during an attack could suffer from breathing difficulties, wheezing, bronchospasm, or death.
To be able to overcome asthma, there is a need to know and the first things that you should learn about the disease are of course, its causes.
The Common Causes
Many different things may cause asthma in children and in adults. Some causes are common for all patients with the condition while others are more personal, affecting only a specific individual or another.
Generally, asthma is caused by genetic and environmental factors. Some of those found to cause asthma, both genetic and environmental, are not confirmed by research but some are.
There are over a hundred genes that are associated with asthma. Most of them are related to the immune system while some are related to modulating inflammation. Then again, not all the studies made regarding these genes showed consistent results along all populations. This means that more studies are needed to figure the complex interactions to find what exactly causes asthma. One impression that experts have is that, asthma is basically a collection of several conditions and that is the basic reason for the differences in results. One genetic difference may be associated with childhood asthma and so on and so forth.
Environmental factors, meanwhile, are the usual suspects for asthma in children. One of the most common is cigarette smoking, especially maternal smoking. Mothers who smoke during pregnancy may cause their unborn children to suffer from wheezing, breathing difficulties, and respiratory infections in the process.
Another environmental factor that may cause asthma is the exposure to air pollutants. Children with asthma are especially associated with this. Researches shown that childhood asthma might be affected by exposure to outside air pollutants.
There are other environmental factors that are associated with the occurrence of asthma. There's the viral infection in the respiratory; delivery via the caesarean section, which may cause modification in the immune system; psychological stress; and improper use of antibiotics as well as paracetamol.
Some genetic factors that cause asthma only become precalent when combined with specific environmental factors. Otherwise, they can not be considered serious risks for asthma development and asthma morbidity.
All About Allergens
Allergens are things that asthmatics are allergic to and should not be exposed to because they may encourage asthma attacks. Asthma caused by allergens is patient-specific. Not all triggers have the same effect on all patients. Some allergens trigger a different effect on the lungs, so cause a different episode.
A patient must know what he is allergic to because exposure to such will often activate the signs of asthma. Examples of allergens are dust mites, pollens, molds, insect parts, foods, pets, work-related agents, and additives among others.
It must be pointed out, however, that not all asthmatics are allergic to something. There are about 80% of children with asthma and about 50% of asthmatic adults also have allergies.