What could be the cause(s) of my asthma?
There are as many causes to asthma as there are symptoms – ranging from genetic to external triggers (stimuli). Here’s a list of the factors found present in most of the cases:
1. Heredity: Researches have shown 25 genes associated with asthma common across various races in the world. These genes are all immune-response genes. However, it has also been found that certain genes only cause asthma when combined with certain environmental factors. (Source: Martinez FD (2007). "CD14, endotoxin, and asthma risk: actions and interactions". Proc Am Thorac Soc 4 (3): 221–5. doi:10.1513/pats.200702-035AW. PMID 17607003.)
3. External Triggers: Pollens, cigarette smoke, outdoor smoke (containing nitrogen dioxide or sulphur dioxide), cold air, cockroach killing sprays, high levels of humidity, high levels of ozone in air, smog, swimming pool chlorine, bleaches, other ammonia or chlorine products that give out fumes etc
4. Indoor Triggers: Mold spores, carpets, stuffed furniture, pet fur, dust mites, cockroach allergens, aerosols, flour, certain perfumes and chemicals such as detergents.
5. Medication: Beta-blockers, aspirin, increase in the usage of paracetamols and the penicillin family of drugs are potent triggers.
6. Exercise: The sudden and volumic exposure of the bronchi walls to cold and dry air at times of strenuous or exertive workouts can trigger a short-term bout of asthma.
7. Foods: some asthmatics respond severely to nuts, milk, egg etc.
8. Stress and Anxiety: These act as immune-modulators and can potentially lead to an inflammation response to any number of allergens and pollutants.
9. Hormones in adolescent girls
10. C-section in some cases has been noted to bring on asthma in women. The exposure to bacteria in vaginal (normal) birth is different than those at the time of a C-section which also modulates the immune response in many women.