Asthma develops once certain cells of the immune system wrongly identifies substances as a threat and overly react to them, thus causing the bronchial tubes in the lungs to inflame and constrict.
The causes of asthma and why it occurs in some individuals and not others have long been an issue of debate. Still, an increasing list of risk factors and triggers have been identified that has allowed doctors to diagnose and manage the condition.
Potential risk factors for asthma
Obesity can increase the risk for developing stroke, diabetes and other health conditions but even asthma as well. The reason for this is that excess weight can press on the lungs which triggers the response typical of the condition. Among those who are overweight, the other organs have to strain harder to function including the lungs.
Even though skin allergies might not be what actually causes asthma, it is discovered that there is a link between skin allergies and asthma. Generally, children with eczema or hay fever are at high risk for developing asthma as adults and might later on develop asthma that is more severe and tenacious.
Individuals with nasal allergies are at high risk for developing the respiratory condition. The nose and the lower airways are component of the respiratory system and can react in the same manner as the lungs upon exposure to irritants, allergens and viruses.
Similar to the mucous membranes in the airways and the nose, the eye membranes can be highly sensitive to develop other allergies, including asthma.
Both parents have asthma
The chances for developing it is increased drastically if the condition runs in the family. At the present, there is nothing that can be done with the genetic risk but doctors have to work hard to pinpoint the genes responsible for the condition.
Asthma can occur at any point in life. Nevertheless, the possibility of developing the condition usually depends on the age and gender. Before reaching puberty, the condition is quite common among males.
Some children have hyperactive airways. In such cases, the bronchial airways overly react to numerous stimuli by becoming swollen and narrow. It is strikingly similar to the condition and if the airways are hyperactive, it can put one at higher risk for developing the condition as adults.
Exposure to cigarette smoke
Children who were exposed to smokers are prone to develop the condition than children with parents who do not smoke. Whether it is first or second-hand, cigarette smoke is capable of stimulating the production of mucus in the lungs.