The primary cause of asthma among humans is still a mystery although medical scientists tend to think that the interaction between certain environmental and genetic factors can result in asthma, often occurring during childhood. Some of the factors cited involve:
- Exposure and contact to viruses and airborne allergens during infancy or early childhood before the immune system has fully developed
- Particular respiratory infections at a very young age
- Asthmatic parents
If you have a family history of atopy or asthma, your airways might be more sensitive to irritants like cigarette smoke making you likely to develop asthma. Certain factors do make a person more likely to develop asthma than others.
Some scientists believe that improvements in sanitation and hygiene have actually made the immune system of people living in Western societies weaker compared to people living centuries ago. These scientists theorize that children living before the modern era have to adapt to a harsher less sanitized environment forcing their immune system to develop quickly which is not seen anymore in this present environment. The rather “slow” development of children’s immune system now make them at high risk for asthma and atopy which is especially true for children who have a family with a history of allergy or asthma.
Laying oneself open to many kinds of factors can cause asthma symptoms or trigger allergies. Each person has his own specific triggers that can prompt asthma symptoms and signs. They can include:
- Menstrual period in females
- GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is an issue wherein acids from the stomach tend to go upwards to your throat
- Preservatives and sulfites included in certain beverages and foods
- Extreme stress and emotions
- Medications – These can include Aleve (naproxen), ibuprofen, aspirin and beta blockers
- Air irritants and pollutants
- Cold air
- Exercise or any physical activity that can induce asthma
- Respiratory infections – Colds, etc.
- Food allergens – Shellfish, peanuts, etc.
- Environmental allergens – Dust mites, cockroaches, molds, animal dander and pollen among others
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