13 doctors weighed in:

How do kids get athsma?

13 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics
7 doctors agree

In brief: Inherited tendency

Most asthma is part of the allergy/eczema/asthma triad which is controlled by several genes.
Various factors controling the mechanics in lung pasageways trigger airway tigtening or relaxation over time an imbalance with excess tightening will emerge. Infection may trigger this in infancy but irritants, & other triggers will dominate. Meds can control it but true asthma is a lifelong tendancy.

In brief: Inherited tendency

Most asthma is part of the allergy/eczema/asthma triad which is controlled by several genes.
Various factors controling the mechanics in lung pasageways trigger airway tigtening or relaxation over time an imbalance with excess tightening will emerge. Infection may trigger this in infancy but irritants, & other triggers will dominate. Meds can control it but true asthma is a lifelong tendancy.
Dr. James Ferguson
Dr. James Ferguson
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3 comments
Dr. James Glauber
However many children display recurrent asthma symptoms in early childhood (first few years of life) who neither have a family history of allergy or asthma. In these children it is common that respiratory infections trigger asthma episodes. Many of these children outgrow this type of asthma when they get older. We are learning that "asthma" is probably more than one illness.
Dr. William Walsh
Agreed, asthma is a syndrome (a constellation of symptoms) that we treat with a set of medications, juggling them to maximize outcomes. Airway hyper-reactivity and chronic inflammation appear to be the common features - but for approximately 1/2 of adults with a dx of asthma controller medications don't work well... We have a long way to go in understanding the syndrome.
2 doctors agree

In brief: Many factors

Many infants have predisposing factors such as family history as well as a history of atopy or cows milk allergy.
Some babies wheeze because they have reflux, others develop chronic wheezing problems secondary to infections such as rsv. Do not forget environmental factors such as second hand smoke and exposure to fumes.

In brief: Many factors

Many infants have predisposing factors such as family history as well as a history of atopy or cows milk allergy.
Some babies wheeze because they have reflux, others develop chronic wheezing problems secondary to infections such as rsv. Do not forget environmental factors such as second hand smoke and exposure to fumes.
Dr. Josephine Ruiz-Healy
Dr. Josephine Ruiz-Healy
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Dr. William Walsh
Addiction Medicine
2 doctors agree

In brief: Genetics and

Environmental exposures; tylenol (acetaminophen) and nsaids; early viral infections of the upper airway all appear to be additional risk factors in addition to genetics.
Asthma is not a single disease, but rather a syndrome or cluster of symptoms - so it is not clear which factors contribute more to which "type" of asthma.

In brief: Genetics and

Environmental exposures; tylenol (acetaminophen) and nsaids; early viral infections of the upper airway all appear to be additional risk factors in addition to genetics.
Asthma is not a single disease, but rather a syndrome or cluster of symptoms - so it is not clear which factors contribute more to which "type" of asthma.
Dr. William Walsh
Dr. William Walsh
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