Lungs allow oxygen to get inside the body, and get rid of its waste product, carbon dioxide. The lining of the airways is very delicate, and thus inhaled air is moistened and warmed rapidly so that no injury is caused to this lining. Airways and nose also trap the large particles such as pollen, dust, bacteria and mold, and chemicals such as sprays, odors and smoke, preventing any serious injury to lungs. Asthma is bronchial airway inflammation causing the over-reactive and excessive functioning of airways. This results in mucosal swelling, muscle contraction and increases production of mucus.
Common Childhood Asthma Causes
Airways inflammation is common in all asthma patients, and this inflammation is caused by viral respiratory infections, allergies and airborne irritants. Secondhand smoke is also one of the most prevalent childhood asthma causes. Children of smokers are more likely to develop asthma as compared to children of non-smokers. Children born to women who smoked during pregnancy are at higher risk of developing asthmatic conditions.
Allergens from the house pets and dust mites are the most common childhood asthma causes. Some of the childhood asthma causes are common to all the children, especially allergens, but there is a difference in how easily and severely children react to them. Severity of attack or the symptoms can also differ at different times for the same child.
Some of the triggers that are common childhood asthma causes include viral infections, exercise, emotions such as fear, anger or excitement, air pollution, smoking, weather change, certain medications and food allergens such as peanuts, food additives and artificial food coloring.
Some of the triggers such as change in air temperature, strong smells, laughing, smoke and exercise are called inciters, and they only cause the tightening of the airways. This is known as bronchoconstriction, and lasts only for a short time. Whereas other triggers such as infections, allergens and certain chemicals are known as inducers, and increase the airways underlying inflammation.
The childhood asthma causes due to chemicals include diesel exhaust, cigarette smoke, household sprays, perfumes, sawdust, sulphur dioxide, and flour dust, and they can easily trigger the asthma attack in children.
For parents, it is important to understand that asthma is not a psychosomatic disease. It is a long-term inflammatory disease leading to easily irritated and extra-sensitive airways, if not treated properly.
There are various methods used for childhood asthma diagnosis, including history and physical examination to detect the signs of asthma, lung function test, and ruling out the conditions other than asthma. There are other conditions that cause the asthma-like symptoms such as bronchitis, airway tumors, vocal cord dysfunction, respiratory tract infection and so on.