Although there is no exact cause of asthma as it varies from person to person, but it has been seen that a combination of genetic and environmental factors is one of the common causes.
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by inflammation of the airways, which can cause wheezing, chest tightness, coughing, and difficulty breathing. In India, almost 34.3 million people suffer from this progressive condition and it attributes to almost 13.2 thousand deaths.
Although there is no exact cause of asthma as it varies from person to person, but it has been seen that a combination of genetic and environmental factors is one of the common causes. Understanding the causes and triggers of asthma is important in preventing and managing the disease. Some of the common causes include:
- Environmental factors: Exposure to pollutants, such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, and industrial chemicals, can increase the risk of developing asthma.
- Genetic factor: People who have a family history of asthma or other allergic diseases are more likely to develop asthma.
- History of respiratory problems: Respiratory infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis, can cause damage to the airways and make them more sensitive and reactive to certain triggers. Recurrent Viral infections or chronic respiratory infection.
- Allergies: Exposure to allergens, such as pollen, dust mites, and pet dander, can trigger asthma symptoms in some people.
- Obesity: Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of developing asthma, especially in women.
- Occupational exposures: Exposure to certain substances in the workplace, such as chemicals, dust, and fumes, can increase the risk of developing asthma.
- Smoking: Exposure to irritants such as cigarette smoke, either active or passive can also damage the airways and contribute to the development of asthma.
Prevention And Management
Preventing and managing asthma involves identifying and avoiding triggers whenever possible. For example, individuals with allergies may benefit from avoiding allergens or taking allergy medications. Quitting smoking and avoiding exposure to second-hand smoke can also reduce the risk of asthma attacks. For those with asthma, treatment often involves the use of medication to reduce inflammation and improve breathing. Regular check-ups can also help to monitor the disease and adjust treatment as necessary such as inhalers to be taken as advised.
(Inputs: Dr. Davinder Kundra, Consultant – Pulmonology, HCMCT Manipal Hospital, Dwarka)