Asthma is a condition where the surfaces of the airways swell and the muscles tighten. The result is that the space where the air passes becomes smaller, hence a difficulty in breathing. Difficulties in breathing may cause wheezing and sometimes coughing. At times, asthma effects are so much because they can affect your normal daily life. This article looks at the different causes of asthma.
- Environmental Pollution
Environmental pollution produces chemical fumes and gases that upon inhaling, the body reacts by making the airways produce excess mucus, while they swell and muscles tighten. The effects are that normal breathing becomes difficult until the fumes diffuse completely into the air. Such fumes and gases could be coming from industries that manufacture chemicals. They could also be from motor vehicles in neighborhoods that experience heavy traffic. In that case, you might want to consider moving from such neighborhoods. People who smoke are more at risk of asthma, compared to those that do not smoke. Similarly, smoking around kids could make them more exposed to asthma.
- Exposure to Triggers at Work
Working in environments where you are exposed to fumes, chemicals, and flour over a long time could place you at a high risk of developing asthma. If you are already asthmatic, the effects could even be worse since these could trigger an attack. However, because it is usually hard to change jobs, you could request the management to transfer you to a different department where you are less exposed. Alternatively, try to have a good working respirator always on your face.
- Respiratory Infections
Respiratory diseases such as bronchiolitis may affect the airways in babies, hence making normal breathing almost impossible. If a child suffers from this disease for long, they may develop asthma while still young, or even later in adulthood. Flu and pneumonia are known to affect the airways, making them produce so much mucus that makes breathing difficult. Living with these conditions for long places you at the risk of asthma.
Genetic makeup plays a major role in determining who you are and who you are going to become. It is believed that if a mother is asthmatic and tends to breastfeed their babies, the baby is more likely to become asthmatic. While the role of genes in this claim may not be substantiated, some experts argue that it could be a respiratory infection that a mother passes on to the baby, and the genetic makeup has nothing to do with this.
- Strong Emotions and Stress
Strong emotions such as anxiety and trauma lead to stress, which is known to cause several health problems. This is because, with stress, more cortisol hormone is produced, lowering the levels of endorphins. This, in turn, compromises the immune systems, hence placing you at the risk of many other types of health conditions. Since the air cannot be fully free of pollutants and allergens, the results are that you might develop asthma. Fortunately, you can stay away from the risks of asthma by dealing with strong emotions and stress.
- Exposure to Allergens
Allergens such as pollen, dust, dump air, and pet dander are known causes for most allergies. This is because upon inhaling these allergens, the body reacts by producing excess mucus, while the muscles in those parts swell, thus affecting breathing. Although it is not possible to live in completely allergen-free environments, we can reduce the exposure to allergens by maintaining high standards of cleanliness in the house. Dust the house every other day and use a good quality air purifier to avoid buildup of moisture and warmth, both of which are good for mold growth. In the same way, use a quality vacuum cleaner that can pick up pet hairs and odors from the floor.
The first aid to an asthmatic attack is to use a rescue inhaler and nebulizers, which reduce mucus that forms on the lungs and prevent breathing. Asthma does not have a known cure but you can do many things to prevent its effects. The use of anti-inflammatory drugs such as antihistamines is a great way to deal with asthma since they reduce swelling and inflammation of the airways, hence making breathing smooth. Reducing stress, moving away from polluted neighborhoods, cleaning your house more often and exercising in favorable weather conditions are some of the many ways to prevent the risk of asthma. In case you start experiencing symptoms that you suspect to be of asthma, consider reaching out to a doctor as soon as possible for assistance.