19 doctors weighed in:

What causes asthma?

19 doctors weighed in
Dr. Joram Seggev
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
7 doctors agree

In brief: Also infection

While 80% of asthma patients have allergies, there are patients whose asthma starts after they had a respiratory infection.
Those infections can be due to viruses such as influenza (the real flu) or certain bacteria such as mycoplasma or chlamydia. Such patients are usually older and have no history of allergy. Still, patients who already have asthma and get infected, their asthma will get worse.

In brief: Also infection

While 80% of asthma patients have allergies, there are patients whose asthma starts after they had a respiratory infection.
Those infections can be due to viruses such as influenza (the real flu) or certain bacteria such as mycoplasma or chlamydia. Such patients are usually older and have no history of allergy. Still, patients who already have asthma and get infected, their asthma will get worse.
Dr. Joram Seggev
Dr. Joram Seggev
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Dr. Sean McGhee
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
7 doctors agree

In brief: Genes + environment

People with asthma usually are predisposed to be allergic.
This is usually inherited, and so caused by your particular genes. However, this alone is not enough. There is also clearly an effect from the environment you live in. Exactly what in the environment is responsible is unknown, but is the object of much interest and research.

In brief: Genes + environment

People with asthma usually are predisposed to be allergic.
This is usually inherited, and so caused by your particular genes. However, this alone is not enough. There is also clearly an effect from the environment you live in. Exactly what in the environment is responsible is unknown, but is the object of much interest and research.
Dr. Sean McGhee
Dr. Sean McGhee
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Dr. John Chiu
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Repair defect

Although over 50% of asthma is related to allergies, allergies do not cause asthma in everyone who is allergic.
The current focus is on the malfunctioning repair mechanism in the epithelium of the airways which apparently is abnormal in people suffering from asthma. Many thing can trigger the damage (diesel particles, allergens, virus) the end result is narrowing of the airways. Sounds too complex

In brief: Repair defect

Although over 50% of asthma is related to allergies, allergies do not cause asthma in everyone who is allergic.
The current focus is on the malfunctioning repair mechanism in the epithelium of the airways which apparently is abnormal in people suffering from asthma. Many thing can trigger the damage (diesel particles, allergens, virus) the end result is narrowing of the airways. Sounds too complex
Dr. John Chiu
Dr. John Chiu
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1 comment
Dr. Joram Seggev
The above mechanism may be the common denominator, it still does not explain the vast spectrum of asthma. There are patients who wheeze once a year; the "typical" allergic asthmatics with symptoms only during allergen exposure; "post infection" asthmatics with no personal or family history of atopy; the patients with rapidly deteriorating lung function. Asthma may well be more than one disease.
Dr. Michael Rupp
Internal Medicine - Allergy & Immunology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Allergies

The majority of childhood asthma is caused by allergies creating inflammation in the lungs which leads to narrowing of the air tubes in the lungs and trouble breathing.
Infection certainly can cause symptoms that look like asthma. In children this often occurs after illnesses like RSV, influenza, parainfluenza, and even the common cold has been shown to have this effect.

In brief: Allergies

The majority of childhood asthma is caused by allergies creating inflammation in the lungs which leads to narrowing of the air tubes in the lungs and trouble breathing.
Infection certainly can cause symptoms that look like asthma. In children this often occurs after illnesses like RSV, influenza, parainfluenza, and even the common cold has been shown to have this effect.
Dr. Michael Rupp
Dr. Michael Rupp
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