What causes Asthma?
According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute asthma stems from certain genetic and environmental factors occurring in early childhood:
○ An inherited tendency to develop allergies (called atopy)
○ Parents who suffer from asthma
○ Respiratory infections during childhood
○ Contact with allergens in early life when the immune system is still developing
○ Exposure to irritants like tobacco smoke
Apart from that, researchers at Duke University Medical Centre strongly believe in the “hygiene hypothesis”. They argue that our Western lifestyle – with its emphasis on hygiene and sanitation – prevents a child’s immune system to develop fully as it is no longer exposed to infections and environment as were children in the past. Hence, the changes in our living conditions and an overall decline in infection in early childhood may increase the risk for developing asthma or atopy.