Is Asthma Genetic or Acquired?

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The Asthma is a chronic disease of lungs which leads to the inflammation in the air passage. This inflammation causes the swelling of airways and makes it much more susceptible. It causes wheezing along with the chest tightness as well. Although asthma is a genetic illness but not all the cases of this particular ailment are hereditary. Today it has affected the people of almost all age groups and also genders. It has been found that an individual who has the family history of this particular condition has a greater chance of developing asthma and thus it is genetic. In fact, some of the research studies have described this condition as extremely heritable. According to a review study which is conducted in the year 2014, the asthma genetic factors alone account for greater than 65 % risk of individual developing asthma and this illustrates that asthma genetic factors play quite a significant role in increasing the likelihood of a person towards this particular ailment.

Risk Factors

It is the combination of Asthma Genetic as well as exposure to certain of environmental elements which put the individuals at a greater risk of developing this particular disease.

Smoking

Smoking actually irritates the air passage and makes the individual much more vulnerable to asthma. Children of smoker mothers are at a greater risk of developing asthma than the children whose mothers are non-smokers.

Air pollution

People who live in polluted places where there is more of the smoke and smog in the environment are at a greater risk of developing this particular ailment. Ozone which is actually one of the main components of smog is responsible for triggering asthmatic symptoms like wheezing and also shortness of breath.

Allergies

The allergens which may trigger the asthmatic attacks include dust, pet dander, pollens, and moulds. Also, people who suffer from eczema along with allergic rhinitis are more susceptible to this health issue.

Family history

The researchers have already found that there are greater than 100 of the genes that are potentially responsible for causing this particular ailment. According to the research studies which are being published in Paediatrics and neonatology journal, around 35 to 95 % of individuals who have a family history of this disease will also get this condition at some point in their lives.

 Symptoms

The symptom of asthma varies according to the type of severity from one person to another. Some might suffer from the symptoms frequently while others may experience it occasionally. Few of the common symptoms of this particular ailment include

  • Wheezing
  • Chest congestion
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Breath shortness
  • Coughing

Causes

Looking at the causes of this particular ailment, both heredity and also environment plays quite a crucial of the role in the development of this particular disease. However, the exact cause of it is still unknown. There are a number of triggers which have actually been identified for the symptoms

  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Air irritants
  • Air pollution
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco consumption
  • Stress
  • Allergens which include pollen, dust along with dander
  • Preservatives in food items and drinks
  • Acid reflux

Treatment

There are wide varieties of medications for the treatment of asthma (generic asthma inhalers). It is divided into various categories- quick-relief medication, long term medicines and also immunotherapy.

Quick-relief medications

The quick-relief medications are consumed when the first signs of symptoms for the immediate relief are being observed

Short-acting beta 2 agonists-inhaled

Anticholinergics

These drugs work as the bronchodilators and help in the expansion of the air passage into the lungs of patients thereby allowing more and more of the air and improving the breathing process. It also assists in clearing the mucus from the lungs as well.

Long term medications

  • Antileukotrienes modifiers
  • Inhaled corticosteroids
  • Methylxanthines
  • Oral corticosteroids
  • Immunomodulators

These medications are to be consumed on an everyday basis even when the symptoms of asthma do not appear. The long term and also, most effective drugs reduce the inflammation of airways and thus help in controlling asthma.

Allergen Immunotherapy (Allergen shots)

This procedure involves the regular administration of the doses of allergen extracts which is being increased gradually over the years. It is administered into the body of the patient either in the form of injection or tablet, sprays or just a drop underneath the tongue. These allergen shots help in curing asthma by reducing slowly the immune system response of the body towards certain allergic triggers. When a tiny amount of allergens are gradually introduced into the body, its immune system develops a tolerance towards it over a period of time. This causes a reduction in the allergic reactions which in turn decreases the symptoms of asthma as well.

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