One of the greatest gifts we can confer on ourselves is good health. Irrespective of whether we receive a health scare or not, it is imperative for us to lead a healthy life. Changes in lifestyle and adopting a healthy diet can do wonders for our body and ensure that we steer clear of a majority of diseases that are born out of erroneous lifestyle choices. However, there are certain ailments that can affect an individual despite his religious adherence to a healthy diet and fitness regime.
At times, the diseases that afflict us can be caused by outside elements that manage to gain entry into the body and wreak havoc in our system. One such ailment that is known to affect people of all age groups is asthma. We all are familiar with this ailment which poses a hurdle in allowing people to breathe normally. However, there isn’t a single cause of asthma; there are various factors that can cause asthma and put the individual at risk. Keep reading to learn more about this ailment that masquerades as a seemingly harmless ailment, but in reality, is quite the contrary.
What is asthma?
- As mentioned earlier, asthma causes severe breathing problems in people suffering from the same. It is a condition that results in the narrowing of the airways or the bronchial tubes, causing it to swell as well. The condition is further worsened by the production of excess mucus which hinders the smooth flow of air in and out of the lungs. This causes trouble in breathing and is the source of the wheezing or whistling sounds produced in the chest whenever the person breathes.
- What makes asthma a formidable ailment is the fact that there is no permanent cure for it. A person who has asthma has to devise ways to coexist with the ailment. The right kind of medication and preventive measures will ensure that the individual suffering from asthma can lead a normal life.
- Asthma is of two types—allergic and non-allergic. Allergic asthma is triggered when the individual is exposed to the allergens, while non-allergic asthma occurs as a reaction to stress, medications, or changes in weather.
- The number of asthma attacks an individual suffers from differs from person to person. Also, one can control these reactions to a certain extent if they make amends to their lifestyle.
What are the causes of asthma?
In a broader spectrum, people have asthma either due to their genes which make them more susceptible to asthma, and the other half suffer from asthma due to certain environmental factors. Some of the common causes of asthma are listed below:
Allergies – One of the major causes of asthma are the different kind of allergies an individual suffers from. There are various instances when an individual is exposed to a certain allergen and displays severe symptoms of asthma. Some of the common allergens that cause asthma are as follows:
- Pollens – Pollens are one of the most common allergy triggers. Pollens are in fact seemingly harmless elements but triggers a strong response from the immune system. Pollen allergies can be dealt with easily with the right kind of medication, but in certain cases, it can trigger asthma as well.
- Pet dander – Around 3 in 10 people in the United States are allergic to pet dander. The pet’s fur can trigger serious allergic reactions and is even known to cause asthma.
- Dust mites – Dust mites are known to trigger year-round allergies and asthma. These tiny insects go undetected, and it is next to impossible to have a complete dust mites-free home.
- Molds – The mold or fungi that dwell in the different parts of your home are also one of the prominent causes of asthma. Though getting rid of mold completely isn’t humanly possible, it is possible to keep your house clean and maintain appropriate temperature since they thrive in damp and humid places.
Irritants present in the air – As mentioned earlier, certain elements in the environment contribute to triggering asthma attacks in an individual. The most common irritants present in the air which are known to cause asthma are as follows:
- Cigarettes – Cigarette smoke, in addition to harming the individual smoking it, can trigger allergy or asthma attacks in other people. This is one of damages of passive smoking.
- Dust – Dust allergy is quite common, and with the right preventive measures, you can keep it in control. However, a person who is susceptible to asthma, and is exposed to dust or other particles in the air, can suffer from asthma attacks.
- Vapor, strong odor, or fumes – A majority of people are sensitive to different kinds of odors. When such people are exposed to strong odors or fumes, an allergic or asthmatic response is triggered.
Emotional responses – When we experience heightened emotions, our body reacts differently. At times, these emotional responses can cause unnatural breathing patterns, at times triggering an asthma attack. The following emotions are known to trigger asthma in people who are susceptible to it.
These above-mentioned causes of asthma vary from person to person, and an asthmatic attack is triggered in a person who is susceptible to it, whereas, some merely experience an allergic response.