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Is Asthma Genetic?

Asthma is a lifelong lung disease that often is genetic and means it runs in the family. One can develop asthma at any age; however, children with asthmatic parents are at the highest risk of getting asthma. Even though there is a strong connection between asthma and genetics, then also it’s not necessary for people with a family history of asthma to develop any complex illness. Some people can develop asthma in the later stage of life even without any family history of asthma.

The key point of asthma treatment management is to consult the doctor, take the recommended medicine, and avoid known asthma triggers. Although you cannot change your gene, you can always lower the risk of developing asthma as an adult.

Asthma and Genetics – The Connection

Do you know what the strongest risk factor for asthma is? Its genetic predisposition. Remember, no one is born with asthma, but they are born with the genes that can get childhood asthma. If the child’s mother has asthma, then chances to get asthma become three times more while it’s only 2.5 times more chances of developing asthma if the father has.

Moreover, genetic disposition doesn’t mean you will surely get asthma. Research shows that if one sibling gets asthma from parents, it doesn’t tell others they will get it too. Researchers are continuing their work in checking different aspects of asthma and genetics.

Are different types of Asthma Genetic?

All types of asthma indeed have some genetic component, and these include:

  • Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm
  • Adult-Onset Asthma
  • Allergic Asthma
  • Occupational Asthma
  • Nonallergic Asthma
  • Asthma With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Adult-onset and occupational asthma are types of asthma that are less dependent on genes. A person without any genetic predisposition can develop asthma. Moreover, various environmental factors can be responsible for causing asthma.

Causes and Risk Factors of Asthma

Although if asthma doesn’t run in your family, it doesn’t mean you cannot develop asthma later in your life. Remember, both genetic and environmental factors play a crucial role in developing asthma. Possible causes and risk factors that can develop asthma include:

  • Having a personal or family history of allergies
  • Premature Birth
  • History of autoimmune diseases
  • Obesity
  • having hay fever or eczema
  • smoking or exposure to cigarette smoke
  • hormonal changes in women during menopause
  • regular exposure to air pollution and chemical fumes

The common cause of actor or short-term asthma is viral upper-respiratory infections. Moreover, lung infections at a younger age increase your risk of developing asthma. Your asthma can enter the remission state and then can return later because of asthma triggers.

Common Asthma Triggers that can flare up asthma includes:

  • Seasonal allergies
  • Air pollution or smoke
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Pet Dander
  • Weather changes
  • Chemical Odors
  • Mold
  • Dust mites
  • Food additives
  • Exercise
  • Cockroaches
  • Beta-Blocker medication
  • Stress

Asthma Symptoms

Symptoms of Asthma and their severity may vary from person to person.  Some people may frequently experience, while others might experience asthma symptoms occasionally. These symptoms can include:

  • Chest tightness
  • Wheezing
  • difficulty in breathing
  • Coughing
  • shortness of breath

Sometimes, asthma triggers can be responsible for the worsening of symptoms to cause asthma attacks, and during this attack, bronchial tubes constrict. Symptoms of asthma become severe during an asthma attack, and you may need a rescue inhaler or immediate medical attention. Asthma attack symptoms include:

  • Rapid Breathing
  • It feels like the chest is rapidly tightening
  • A blue tint to the skin and nails
  • Chest retraction
  • shortness of breath
  • Unable to take a full breath

Remember, not all people need to have these asthma symptoms.

Asthma Treatment

Treatment of Asthma will only help in managing the symptoms and preventing asthma attacks. It is fair to say that asthma treatment can lessen the damage that occurred to the lungs. Consult your doctor for the long-term and short term treatment method of asthma. Long term asthma treatment includes:

  • Allergy Medications
  • Long-term inhaled asthma control medications such as bronchodilators, corticosteroids and combination inhalers.

For short-term medical treatment of asthma attack includes:

  • fast-acting bronchodilators
  • oral or intravenous steroids for reducing airway swelling
  • Beta antagonists like albuterol inhalers

Your pulmonologist may even recommend some lifestyle modification to help you in controlling the asthma symptoms, and these include

  • identifying and avoiding asthma triggers
  • Cover the nose and mouth in cold weather
  • Try to use air conditioning to prevent outdoor asthma triggers
  • Don’t let yourself be stressed out.
  • Clean your home daily to avoid dust and mold.

Key Takeaway

Some people still might be wondering is asthma genetic or not? It’s simple for many people; asthma might be genetic. But for others, it may not be. You most likely will develop asthma if one or both of your parents is asthmatic. Sometimes asthma may develop because of environmental factors like smoke exposure, stress, severe illness, hormone fluctuations and allergies

Asthma symptoms may change with time; that is why you need to follow the action plan led by your pulmonologist. It doesn’t matter what factor is responsible for causing asthma; it’s important for you to understand your asthma symptoms and triggers. Consult a Meddo pulmonologist to know about how to control and treat asthma.