Asthma attacks may be triggered by various causes. When the body detects an irritant, the immune system immediately responds by releasing inflammatory substances to the area where the irritant is sensed. As a result swelling occurs and mucous is produced. When this occurs broncheo spasms result which cause severe breathing difficulties for asthma sufferers.
The local environment can be a big cause of asthma attacks. Bacteria and dust that exist where you live can become lung irritants. Some studies show that children who grow up spending most of their time indoors develop a weaker immune system compared to children who are encouraged by their parents to play in the open air. This makes them susceptible to bacteria and atmospheric particles found at home and elsewhere. Lower levels of resistance to outside pollutants then make them vulnerable to environmental dusts that can cause irritation and other complications.
Asthma may be developed because of an allergy. Common allergens that trigger asthma attacks include pollen, hair, animal dander, feathers, and molds. Diseases such as allergic rhinitis or hay fever may also trigger asthma. The severity of the attack largely depends on what allergen the patient has been exposed to. Food allergies may be a factor as well. Patients with asthma are highly advised to be careful with their diet because a food allergy has been known to trigger asthma attacks. Doctors recommend a diet wherein foods that usually cause allergy, like wheat, corn and dairy are omitted.
For women, there are two events in their life that can increase their body’s sensitivity to asthma causes. The first of these is pregnancy. Amazingly, there have been studies that shown that mothers who are expecting baby girls have a higher tendency to exhibit asthma-type breathing problems compared to pregnant women who are expecting boys. The second is the menopause, where there is a connection between asthma and low levels of estrogen in the body. The development of asthma in this case often begins during perimenopause.
Atmospheric weather conditions can also bring on an attack due to changes to the ions in the air, but is not common.
Obviously a family history of asthma will pre-dispose individuals to asthma symptoms, but with care many of the causes can be kept to a minimum. This is due mainly to recent research studies which have helped us to be more aware of the causes that were unknown to previous generations.