Asthma is a disorder that affects your lungs and airways. It mainly occurs when the lining of the airway becomes inflamed. In this article, we will discuss what asthma is, how it’s treated, and some potential causes of asthma.
Asthma occurs when there is inflammation in the lining of your airway, which can lead to the release of chemicals such as histamines and leukotrienes that irritate your lungs and make you cough or wheeze. Asthma can also happen because there has been an overproduction of mucus in your respiratory tract, which then blocks passages to your lungs.
Asthma is not a single disease and can be brought on by allergies, environmental irritants, and exposure to viruses.
Allergies are one of the most common causes of asthma. If you are allergic to something, your body will produce antibodies like immunoglobulin E (IgE) in response to the allergen. These antibodies attach themselves to your white blood cells, known as mast cells. Fast forward to when you breathe in, and more mast cells get triggered, which makes it more difficult for you to live as they release histamines. Histamines can cause swelling and irritation in the airways, leading to asthma symptoms like wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath.
Sinusitis is an infection of the sinuses, which are located in your head and chest. The sinuses do not have practical barriers against germs, so they get infected, especially if you have a cold or an allergy that causes your nose to be stuffy. If you have a lot of mucus in your airways, it’s harder for you to breathe, which could lead to asthma.
Viruses are also prevalent causes of asthma. They can cause the airways to swell up, leading to asthma symptoms like wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. The influenza virus is a prevalent cause of viral asthma attacks in children, so it’s good to give them medication when they have colds or flu, especially if they have a history of asthma attacks every time they get sick.
If you have asthma and do some exercise that causes your airways to narrow, it can lead to an asthma attack. Running, jumping, and even sex can cause this reaction in asthmatic patients. It is because exercise makes the muscles contract and need more oxygen. It increases the demand on your lungs, so if you have asthma, you might not be able to meet that demand efficiently, leading to an asthma attack.
It is another prevalent cause of asthma in people suffering from other health conditions. Asthma medications can be potent, and they will make your airways very dry, so if you’re on medications that cause dryness, such as steroids or corticosteroids, then they’re going to reduce the amount of mucus in your airways. It again can lead to wheezing and coughing.
There are several different causes of asthma; this is just a tiny sample of all the potential triggers. If you have asthma and your symptoms occur regularly, then it’s best to head to the doctor so that they can diagnose you. This way, they can come up with a proper treatment plan which will prevent attacks from happening in the future.