Causes of asthma

1) What causes asthma?

The exact cause of asthma is unclear. It is thought genetics together with certain environmental factors may play a role in whether someone develops asthma.

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Some things that may cause asthma are:

  • Genetics/ Family history – some people develop asthma if there is a family history of asthma or other allergic conditions such as eczema (a condition in which patches of skin become rough and inflamed with blisters which cause itching and bleeding), rhinitis (an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose) or hay fever
  • Infections – Bacterial or viral infections can both cause and trigger asthma but they are very difficult to avoid.
  • Tobacco Smoke – Exposure to tobacco smoke both before and after birth increases the risk of developing asthma like symptoms in early childhood.
  • Occupation – Occupations linked with a high risk of occupational asthma include baking, painting (including spray painting, cleaning or textile work, farming and agricultural work, hairdressing and plastic manufacturing.
  • Diet – It has been suggested that changes in our diet may have added to an increase in asthma and allergic disease. Eating more processed foods and poly saturated fatty acids (e.g. margarine and vegetable oil), along with less fruit, vegetables and polyunsaturated fatty acids (e.g. oily fish) may put us at higher risk of developing these conditions.