What causes asthma?

Asthma is a breathing problem. While breathing air enters our body through nose and mouth, then reaches to the wind pipe, to the tubes known as bronchi and finally to the lungs from where the oxygen present in the air is supplied to the body through the blood.

Any disturbance caused in the bronchial tube can narrow or block these tubes which further cause heavy breathing, cough and wheeze. This is known as bronchial asthma.


It is caused due to the contraction of bronchial tubes. This contraction happens when the elastic muscles around the tubes tighten themselves, causing the bronchial passage to become narrow. The bronchial muscle becomes unable to support the activity of breathing. In a normal person, these muscles contract occasionally but in asthmatic people they contract many times. This contraction can even block the bronchi.
Air passage also gets narrow in bronchial tubes because of the swelling and mucus in the tubes. Bronchial tubes produce mucus to prevent dust and other irritants entering the lungs but the people having asthma problem produce more amounts of mucus, which results in the blockage of bronchial passage.
Allergies are the very common cause for bronchial asthma. People having both allergy and asthma, feels disturbance at night-time and they need stronger medications.
Bronchial asthma triggers due to exercise, emotional stress and anxiety, weather changes, dust, respiratory infections, allergies, laughing, crying, singing, smoking, perfumes, sprays, etc.

Asthma patients should always keep themselves away from the dust and pollutants. They must cover their face with cloth or mask while passing through the dusty environment or while cleaning home and furniture.
You can also use inhalers, pills and tablets with the recommendation of your doctor. There is no permanent cure for asthma but you can control over the asthma attacks by avoiding its triggering factors.

Some of the common symptoms of asthma are coughing, breathlessness, chest pain and tightness, difficulty in speaking and wheezing.
If a person is having both cough and wheeze, not because of some illness or chronic health problem then it may be asthma. You must ask your doctor about it. Many people think that wheezing and asthma is the same thing but wheezing is only a symptom of asthma and also wheezing always does not mean that the person is having asthma. It can occur due to many other reasons as well.


Heartburn (reflux) can also cause asthma. This usually occurs during night because when you lay flat the acid leaks into the breathing passage causing the air passage to get narrow which further cause wheezing and coughing. Doctors believe that 30% of asthma is due to the reflux problem.

Researchers say that the asthma may also develop in a child because of the use of antibiotics in his early life.

Sometimes this disease is inherited from parents to their child.
Asthma can develop in any age. If it develops during childhood then the problem reduces with the age, but if it triggers at any other age then asthma worsens with the age. Most of the times asthma develops in the childhood. In U.S nearly six million children are suffering from asthma.

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