Understanding asthma

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Overview of asthma

When a person has asthma, their airways become affected. When a person comes into contact with what triggers the condition, the small tubes that carry the air in and out of their lungs begin to shrink due to this allergen. The lining of the airways starts to swell along with the production of mucus. This makes it difficult to push air in and out of the lungs.

More Information / Disclaimer

Breathing emergencies such as asthma can be life threatening. Consult a physician immediately if you believe you are having an attack. The material posted on this page is for learning purposes only. To learn to recognize and manage breathing emergencies, including asthma, register for a first aid course at one of our popular training centers.


There are several reasons why a person may have asthma, these include:

  • Their lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Family history
  • Being exposed to dust and chemicals
  • Pollution within the environment
  • Viral infection


There are several triggers for those who suffer from the condition. Not everyone is going to have the same triggers, but here are a few that are widely known for triggering asthma:

  1. Animals: Animals fur, saliva, skin and urine.
  2. Air Pollutants: This includes the exhaust of cars, smoke, and gases in the atmosphere.
  3. Emotions: Those who are under stress, suffer from depression or anxiety may have more attacks than those without.
  4. Exercise: Jumping into exercise without warming the body up can cause someone to have an attack. However, avoid exercise as this is an essential part of being healthy.
  5. Food: There are those who suffer from allergies when eating certain foods which can also trigger the condition. These foods usually include nuts, products with yeast, dairy products etc.
  6. Hormones: In some cases, puberty can cause asthma as the hormones are changing rapidly. The same can be said of women during pregnancy or menopause.
  7. Dust mites: if you have allergies and your home is dusty, this can cause the condition. That is why the person must make sure that their home is dust free.
  8. Medicines: Some medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs can actual cause an attack. Beta blockers can also cause this type of reaction.
  9. Molds and fungi: Mold and fungi can both cause asthma attacks, and it is imperative that people do their best to prevent this in their home.
  10. Pollen: During the spring and summer when pollen counts are high, asthma can run high as well.
  11. Smoking: this is considered as one of the more aggressive triggers.
  12. Weather: damp or humid weather can cause many people to develop asthma and can cause them to have an asthma attack. In fact, thunderstorms are known for increasing the pollen count, making asthma more common in those who have this.

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The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional