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What Causes Asthma

No one knows exactly what causes asthma. It is considered to be caused by a combination of environmental and genetic (hereditary) factors. A child with asthma may have a parent or other close relative who has asthma.

Allergy is considered to be a cause of bronchial asthma and bronchitis. Allergy is a kind of reaction of the body to external substances which may or may not be otherwise harmful. A healthy body is guarded against the invasion of germs by certain special cells which are collectively called the immune system. As a reaction to any foreign body, an antibody is produced inside the individual that envelops and destroy the former. Sometimes this immune system over reacts to some apparently harmless substance such as pollen, pieces of hair, dust particles and even perfume.

Substances that cause an allergic reaction in some people are called allergens. These allergens range from dust mites (microscopic bugs that live in dust), molds, pollen, animal dander, cockroaches, fine dust particles to tiny fragments of fur which float in the air and which fall off moulting animals and birds.

Certain substances such as chalk dust or smoke in the air can also trigger asthma because they irritate the airways. Asthma patients are often very sensitive to irritating fumes such as cigarette smoke or the smell of lime which is often used for white washing walls. Some patients are also allergic to medicines such as penicillin, asprin and some preservatives used in tinned food and drinks.

Some people have exercise-induced asthma, which is triggered by physical activity. Although it can be especially frustrating, most cases of exercise-induced asthma can be treated so that people can still enjoy the sports they love. Cold or dry air can sometimes trigger asthma symptoms in certain people, as can extreme heat or humidity. Respiratory tract infections like colds, flu, and other viral infections can also trigger asthma in some people.

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 Related Articles on Asthma Treatments and Remedies
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bullet Herbal Remedies for Asthma | List of Herbs for Asthma
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