What Causes Asthma

What causes asthma is not yet fully understood.

What Causes Asthma

The cause of asthma is different for everyone, for some, it can be genetic and / or environmental.

Some people have trouble with pollen, others have trouble with tobacco smoke, and others may have trouble with animal dander.

The cause of asthma is not yet fully understood. What is known, is that the cause can be genetic and / or environmental.

Many people with asthma have allergic reactions to particles breathed in through the air, such as animal hairs and pollen. These common substances are called allergens, meaning that they cause an allergic reaction.

The tendency to react to allergens by having an asthma attack is probably genetic. There is no cure for asthma, although it can be controlled by learning to avoid asthma triggers and by taking medicine.

So Who Can Get Asthma?

Children are more likely to develop asthma than adults, especially inner-city children – boys are more likely than girls to have asthma. However, it seems that adult women are more likely than men to have asthma.

Women are affected differently than men and are more likely than men to be hospitalised or to die from asthma.

Research shows that asthma may be linked to women’s hormonal changes. For example, asthma attacks may take place just before or during a woman’s period.

A side effect of steroid medicines used for asthma is the loss of bone density, which can lead to osteoporosis. Therefore, talk to your health professional about ways to keep monitoring and / or manage your bone density.

What Causes Asthma attacks?

People with asthma have airways that are very sensitive to certain allergens or other stimuli. However, what causes asthma is not yet fully understood, and the triggers vary from one person to another.

Some common causes of asthma attacks include:

  • Animal dander (from the skin, hair, or feathers)
  • Waste products from dust mites
  • Pollen from trees and grass
  • Mould (indoor and outdoor)
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Air pollution
  • Infections such as colds and the flu
  • Exercise
  • Feelings or stress
  • Changes in weather, cold air
  • Odours from painting or cooking
  • Scented products
  • Certain medicines and foods.

This is not a complete list of all the things that trigger asthma. People may have trouble with one or more of these triggers. Everyone is different.

How can I find out if I have asthma?

If you are coughing, wheezing, having trouble breathing, or your chest feels tight, see your health professional, who can arrange a few tests to find out if you have asthma.

Finally, if you have Asthma, and you need further information and advice go to the Asthma New Zealand website: www.asthma.org.nz

There are many things you can do to manage Asthma and / or just stay healthy:

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