Asthma Causes and Triggers

Causes of Asthma

Asthma has many causes, which are different to triggers. Common causes but not limited to are:

  • Allergies are one of the main causes of asthma. Allergy can frequently cause running nose and cough that may gradually develop in to asthma.
  • Respiratory infections causing cough and increased production of mucus. In this condition, there is no running nose or sneezing but the chest is felt congested.
  • Genetic factors causing asthma to run in the families.
  • Lifestyle: Over use of modern facilities like air-conditioning and carpeting everywhere with negligible exposure to natural environments can lead to asthma. Such environments may especially increase the incidents of asthma in children.
  • Dietary habits: Over use of processed foods and cold drinks, lower antioxidant intake with lack of exercise may contribute to the development of asthma.
  • Smoking can lead to asthma.
  • Continued indigestion: Persistent digestive disorder can cause asthma.
  • Occupational exposure: Exposure to certain chemicals, gases and dust in certain occupations may cause asthma with passage of time.
  • A particular weather condition may cause respiratory problems in certain individuals.

There might be other causes in particular cases, which must be investigated so that the treatment and diet can be advised accordingly.

Common Triggers

The attack of asthma may start at any time under a particular condition or factor and may last for hours. Such conditions or factors are called triggers and differ from person to person. Triggers are not the causes of asthma. As the name implies, they trigger or start an attack or may worsen the already going on attack. Such triggers may include exposure to cold, physical exertion, lying down at night, especially after mid-night, talking for a longer time, inhaling smoke particularly of cigarette, strong odors, dust, cold drinks, indigestion, cold bathing, weather changes, continued dry and cold weather, hot weather and humidity. Asthma can also be triggered by emotional disturbance and mental stress.

This list is not exhaustive and complete. There might be many other factors that may start or worsen the attack and might be very individual and specific in nature. Treatment of asthma should be planned keeping such factors in view but the treatment should be for the cause not for the trigger. Treatment for the trigger would mean catching the thread from the wrong end. For example, why a person gets the attack from exposure to cold or why the asthma of a person aggravates during humid or a particular weather condition is important. Find the reason and treat accordingly.