People of all ages suffer from asthma, but the exact causes of asthma still eludes the medical experts and researchers. However, efforts are on to identify the factors that trigger asthma. Some of the recent medical researches have thrown light on the latest developments in this regard. As per the latest studies, factors such as food habits, exposure to certain environment, medicines and exposure to chemicals take their toll.
- UV-B rays
Exposure to higher ultraviolet radiations affects people living near the Equator, making them sneeze and wheeze more than others do. They are more susceptible to asthma, says a study carried out under the guidance of Vicka Oklaria from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology ACAAI).The exposure to UV-B rays is connected with vitamin D which modifies the immune system, increasing the chances of asthma and allergy.
- Belly fat
Belly fat may lead to the development of asthma. The researchers at the University of Science and Technology examined 23245 adults without asthma aged 19- 55 years from the Norwegian Nordtron delag Health Study (HUNT). The result of the study showed that people who had belly fat, but were not overall fat were 1.44 times more susceptible to asthma, where as those who were both centrally obese and obese overall were1.81times more prone to develop asthma.
- Household cleansing sprays and asthma
Using household cleansing sprays can be risky because it might cause asthma. Inhaling chemicals such as bleach, ammonia, solvents and stain removers more than once a week raises the risk by 20 percent. Studies reveal that some sprays can cause breathing trouble, says telegraph.co.uk. Jan-Paul Zock, an expert in occupational asthma from the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona, says this finding could help to prevent some cases of asthma, if proven.
- Stressful job and asthma
Stressful job increases the chances of getting asthma by 40 percent. A research carried out by Heidelberg University in Germany followed 5000 men and women aged between 40 and 65 and found that the incidence of asthma among people free of asthma at first, if they worked in stressful situations, rose by 40 percent. Work stress and inability to unwind after work lead to an increased risk of asthma.
- Large waistline and asthma
Obesity is a risk factor for adult asthma. Women with larger waistlines are susceptible to get asthma even if they have a normal body weight. Researchers led by Northern California cancer Centre’s Berkeley team of scientists used the data from California Teachers Study and looked at the relationship between fat deposit around the waist and asthma. They found that women who were fatty were twice as susceptible to develop the disease. They also found that large waist size was associated to high prevalence of asthma. Women extremely obese were thrice as susceptible too.
- Synthetic bedding worsens the condition
Synthetic bedding can worsen asthma because it contains a high level fungal cell products. A study done by Otago University researchers have confirmed that synthetic bedding contains higher levels of fungi related beta glucan than feather bedding. The amount of beta glucan is much higher in mattresses which are more than five years old. Beta glucan causes inflammation and lung-function changes, so feather bedding is advised if you are an asthma patient.
- Rhinovirus infection and asthma
If the infant has respiratory problems caused by viruses, the possibility of asthma later in life increases ten-folds. The researchers have pointed out that the biggest culprit is the rhinovirus(RV).Lemanske, the head of the division of paediatric allergy immunology and rheumatology at the university of Wisconsin School of medicine and Public Health, says rhinovirus contributes more to the development of asthma than other viruses that cause wheezing in childhood. According to Daniel. J. Jackson, allergy and immunology fellow, the study in this regard revealed that 90percent of the children with wheezing with RV in the first year developed asthma at the age of six.
- Low-fat curd in pregnancy
If pregnant woman use low-fat curd, it can cause asthma and allergic rhinitis in their children. A Harvard study led by Ekaterina Maslova reveals the link between low-fat intake and increased risk. According to this Harvard study women who consumed low-fat were 1.6 times more likely to have children who developed asthma at seven.
- Hygiene hypothesis and asthma among girls
Girls in our society are expected to grow up neat and tidy, but this cleanliness can be linked to higher rates of asthma and allergies in adult women. Sharyn Clough at the Oregon State University points out that women face the risk of getting allergic asthma and autoimmune disorders. The connection between increased hygiene and sanitation and higher levels of asthma, allergies and autoimmune disorders is called hygiene hypothesis.
- Volcanic ash and asthma
People with respiratory problems are advised to stay indoors or wear masks in places where volcanic ash descends. The ash which contains ammonium, sulphates, sodium, carbon, minerals and water can reach the bronchial periphery and cause problems for persons with respiratory disorders, says a report of the UN News Centre. World Health Organization (WHO) also has warned people with respiratory problems to stay indoors to avoid such dangers.