This article explains Causes and agents of asthma in detail
Causes and agents of asthma
No one knows exactly what causes asthma. It is known for sure that bronchial asthma is a chronic respiratory disease accompanied by inflammatory processes. The causes of asthma symptoms are different for different people. But one thing is permanent: when the respiratory tract comes into contact with the causative agent of asthma, they begin to become inflamed, narrowed and filled with mucus.
During an attack of bronchial asthma, there is a spasm of muscle tissue around the airways, inflammation and swelling of their mucous membrane, accumulation of excessive amounts of mucus – all this affects the severe narrowing of the airways. This increases their resistance and, accordingly, makes breathing difficult, causing dyspnoea, coughing and wheezing. When asthma can often occur cough, the cause of which is irritation of the respiratory tract and an attempt by the body to clear the way from accumulated mucus.
So, why do some have asthma, but others do not? No one knows for sure. It is well known that allergy plays an important role for people with asthma, and that is not always the case. This can also blame heredity since there is a strong genetic component responsible for asthma.
If a person close to you has bronchial asthma, it is very important to identify the causative agents of asthma symptoms. As soon as it becomes known, you can limit contact with them and, accordingly, will be able to control the development of asthma and reduce the frequency of seizures. For example, if asthma is caused by allergic reactions, then you have allergic asthma. You need to determine what you are allergic to and try to avoid these pathogens. This will help reduce the frequency or severity of asthma attacks. And, possibly, the development of the disease affects the pollution of the environment, so in a period of severe pollution, it is better not to go out. First, determine the causes and pathogens of asthma, and then try to avoid close contact with them.
Here are the main causes of asthma:
Allergy in asthma is a common problem. 80% of people with asthma have allergies to substances present in the air, such as pollen of trees, grass and flowers, animal hair, dust, waste products of cockroaches and other insects. Children who have cockroaches at home are four times more likely to develop allergies than those with very rarely encountered cockroaches. The cause of an allergy exacerbation after contact with dust is usually a dust mite.
Food and food additives
Although an allergy to food rarely causes asthma, it is a potential threat to human life. The most common pathogens of food allergies:
- Cow’s milk
- A fish
- Shrimp and other seafood
- Salad and fresh fruit
Canned foods can also cause asthma. Such sulphite additives as sodium hydrogen sulphate, potassium bisulphate, sodium metabisulfite, sodium hydrogen sulphate monohydrate are often used in the processing or preparation of foods and can cause asthma in sensitive people.
Physical stress causes narrowing of the airways in 80% of people suffering from asthma. In some people, physical activity is the main cause of asthma. If you have asthma stress, then in the first five to eight minutes of physical activity you will feel pressure in the chest area, a violent cough may begin, as well as shortness of breath. These symptoms usually accompany the next 20-30 minutes of exercise. At 50%, suffering from asthma exertion, an attack of asthma can recur after 6-10 hours.
Heartburn and asthma
Bronchial asthma is often accompanied by heartburn. Recent studies have shown that up to 89% suffering from asthma also suffer from severe heartburn, which is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERB is usually exacerbated at night, when a person is in a lying position. Usually, the valve between the oesophagus and stomach does not allow gastric acid to enter the oesophagus. But with gastroesophageal reflux disease, the valve works poorly. Gastric acid returns to the oesophagus and if it reaches the pharynx or the airways, it causes irritation or inflammation, and, therefore, can cause an asthma attack.
There are signs that suggest the cause of asthma. If the cause is not in heredity, there has not previously been cases of allergy or bronchitis, but when a person assumes a recumbent position, asthma symptoms become worse or a violent cough arises, it is most likely the whole thing in reflux.
If the doctor assumes that the cause of an exacerbation of the disease is a heartburn, then he can prescribe special examinations and tests to confirm this.
Smoking and asthma
Smoking people are most likely to develop asthma. If you have asthma and you smoke, smoking can cause an exacerbation of certain symptoms such as coughing or wheezing. Women who smoke during pregnancy increase the risk of developing bronchial asthma in their babies. In children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy, the lung capacity may be impaired. If you have asthma and you continue to smoke, then quitting is the main stage in protecting your lungs.
Sinusitis and other respiratory diseases of the upper respiratory tract
Like asthma, which causes inflammation in the upper respiratory tract, sinusitis causes inflammation of the mucous membrane of one or more paranasal sinuses. This inflammation causes the paranasal sinuses to secrete more mucus – similar to the processes occurring during asthma. When the sinuses become inflamed, the airways in some people can respond to irritation with an attack of asthma, respectively, there is a simultaneous development of asthma and sinusitis. In this case, it is necessary to properly treat infections in the nasal sinuses: this will reduce the severity of asthma attacks.
Infections and asthma
Colds and flu, bronchitis and infectious diseases of the nasal sinuses are all causes of asthma attacks. These respiratory infections that trigger asthma can be caused by viruses or bacteria and are a common cause of asthma attacks, especially in children under 10 years old. The sensitivity of the airways, which causes an easy and rapid contraction, may last up to two months after the transfer of respiratory disease. It is believed that 20% – 70% of adults suffering from asthma have the concomitant disease of the nasal sinuses. And, on the contrary, 15% – 65% of people with allergic rhinitis (hay fever) or sinusitis have signs of asthma.
Medications and asthma
Many people with asthma may experience aspirin asthma and may also be particularly sensitive to other medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen, ketoprofen or beta-blockers (used to treat cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure and glaucoma). If you know that your body is acutely aware of these drugs, make sure that your healthcare provider has indicated this in your medical record. When buying a new medicine in a pharmacy, report a similar allergic reaction to the seller.
Other causes of asthma
Irritability. Most irritants, including tobacco smoke, smoke from woodworking appliances or fireplaces, a strong smell of perfume, cleaners, etc., are all irritants that cause asthma attacks. In addition, environmental pollution, industrial dust or fumes can also trigger an asthma attack.
Weather. Cold air, sudden changes in temperature and humidity can cause asthma exacerbation.
Strong emotions. Stress and asthma are inseparable. Anxiety, crying, sobbing, stress, anger or loud laughter are the causes of asthma.
Why irritants exacerbate asthma symptoms?
In people with asthma, the respiratory tract is usually inflamed and very sensitive, so they react sharply to any external factors or “irritants”. Close contact with irritants is what causes the asthma symptoms to exacerbate: the airways are severely narrowed and inflamed, and excessive amounts of mucus block the airways, which causes a worsening of the disease. An attack of bronchial asthma can begin immediately after close contact with the stimulus or in a few days or weeks.
There are many causes of asthma. The reaction to triggers of asthma depends on the person himself, as well as on the time of year, day, etc. Some irritants can be completely harmless to some people, and cause a strong inflammation in others. In some people, triggers of asthma are easily detected, others cannot be determined. Determining and further avoiding the causes of asthma, if possible, is the main point in controlling the disease. But, remember, the best way to control asthma is through proper treatment and medications.
How to determine the causes and irritants of asthma?
The first step in determining the causes and irritants of asthma is to remember which factors preceded the exacerbation of the disease. Although there are a lot of irritants, you could not face all of them at the same time. Some people may have one single cause or irritant of asthma, while others may have several.
Most causes of asthma can be determined from the medical history and from the analysis of blood or skin reaction to certain irritants. The doctor may recommend using a pneumotachometer. The pneumotachometer measures how much and how quickly air enters the lungs. Thanks to him, you can notice changes in your breathing and determine an impending asthma attack.