Asthma – Causes and Risk factors

What is asthma?

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the respiratory tract of the lungs. The real reason for asthma is unclear. Asthma specialists believe that a combination of genetics and environmental factors can lead to asthma or at least increase sensitivity to asthma triggers. Some of these factors include:

  • family history
  • viral infections during childhood
  • early exposure to allergic agents.
  • living in urban areas.

Allergic reactions are often associated with asthma. However, not every allergic person develops asthma.

Causes of asthma?

Physicians have identified the two major conditions that lead to asthma symptoms: inflammation or constriction of the respiratory tract.(1)


In asthma, the inner sides of the respiratory tract are swollen or inflamed. This inflammation makes the airways particularly sensitive to irritation and asthma triggers. The swelling compresses the air passages, making it more difficult for air to enter the respiratory tract. So normal breathing is difficult.

Airway constriction

When the respiratory tract makes contact with some asthma triggers, muscles around the respiratory tract become tighter. That makes the air passages even closer. It also causes you to have a sense of tightness in your chest. Some say that a rope is tightening around the chest. Mucus may become lodged in tight airways, making breathing more difficult.

Asthma triggers

The factors triggering inflammation and narrowing of the airway may differ from one patient to another. You need to understand your triggers to control asthma.

Typical asthma triggers include:

  • smoke
  • stress and anxiety
  • physical activity
  • allergic reaction to food or sulfites
  • pollen
  • dust mites and cockroaches
  • mold
  • pet hair and dander
  • weather variations, particularly cold air
  • respiratory tract infections, such as flu or cold
  • food preservatives
  • heartburn/acid reflux
  • some medications, such as aspirin or beta blockers.

Talk to your doctor about identifying your triggers, and then make appropriate plans to prevent it.

Asthma risk factors

There are a number of factors that are thought to increase the risk of asthma. They include the following.

Family history

If one of your parents is asthmatic, you are more likely to develop asthma.

Gender and age

Asthma occurs more frequently among children than adults. Boys are more likely to develop asthma in comparison to girls. Men and women have a similar risk of developing asthma as adults.


Allergen sensitivity is generally a good predictor of your chances of developing asthma. These allergens typically consist of:

  • mold
  • dust
  • pet dander
  • toxic chemicals

Allergens may give rise to asthma attacks after asthma.


Cigarette smoke causes irritation of the respiratory tract. People who smoke have the greatest risk of developing asthma. Women whose mother smoked while pregnant or who were exposed to second-hand smoke are also more likely to have asthma.

Air pollution

That is the most important component of smog, or ozone. Continued exposure to air pollution raises the risk of asthma. People who have grown up or live in urban areas are at increased risk of asthma.


Both overweight and obese children and adults are more likely to suffer from asthma. However, the reasons are unclear, some experts point to low-grade inflammation in the body which occurs with excessive weight.

Viral respiratory infections

Breathing complications during early childhood and childhood may result in wheezing. A number of children with viral respiratory infections develop chronic asthma.


Asthma is a chronic condition that causes air circulation in the lungs. Its cause isn’t clear l. Experts think This results from a mixture of genetic and environmental factors. The triggers cause inflammation and narrowing of the airways which specify asthma. Knowing your triggers is needed for asthma.

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