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What causes asthma and COPD and how to prevent them

Lung disease restricts man to daily life, particularly dyspnea and limited physical performance.

Healthy Lungs 28.3.2018

In the Czech Republic, over half a million people have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the care of professionals. Both diseases are serious and chronic. They reduce human beings in daily life, especially dyspnea and limited physical performance. Let's recall the main risk factors.

What causes asthma

There is a large share of hereditary disposition in asthma. We can not influence genetic influence, but other risk factors do. Their adaptation is key to the prevention of asthma.

Poor indoor environment. In particular, they are cigarette smoke, mold, fumes from cleaning agents and coatings. Higher risk of asthma is also experienced by gas-boiling people.
Polluted air, smog. The primary effect on asthma development is in ozone in polluted air. Causes cough, shortness of breath, even chest pain. It may increase susceptibility to infection. Another component of smog, sulfur dioxide, irritates and narrows the airways.
Exposure to cold and humidity, weather changes. Cold air causes increased mucus production in the airways. Together with humidity, it can cause breathing difficulties.
Tobacco smoke. Smoking is one of the major risk factors for the development of asthma. It is not just an active consumption of tobacco products. Staying in a smoky environment can cause asthma to develop early in childhood.
Overweight and obesity. In addition, kilos may help to develop asthma.
Smoking cigarettes during pregnancy. Children of mothers who smoke during pregnancy have impaired lung function.
Premature delivery. The incidence of asthma is higher in the case of premature babies.

The main causes of COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) kills about 3 million people a year worldwide. It develops slowly, initially inconspicuously. Over time, it can result in severe lung damage, breathing difficulties and heart failure. By far the most important cause and risk factor of COPD is smoking. Sometimes, this disease is also referred to as "smoking asthma", although it is a completely different disease. What is the origin of COPD?

Tobacco smoke. It accounts for up to 90% of COPD people. Smokers have a 13x higher risk of non-smokers die of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The longer you are exposed to tobacco smoke, even passively, the higher your risk of developing COPD. Not just cigarettes, cigars, pipes (even water) or smoky environments.
Polluted air. Another risk factor is poor air - dust, smoke, industrial pollutants. Likewise, the various fumes and vapors that you breathe in the home environment (combustion products in fireplaces, stoves).
Long-term exposure to dust and chemicals. A major danger to the lungs is exposure to irritants at work. This happens especially in mining, agriculture, etc.
Genetics . CHOPN due to heredity arises without the presence of other risk factors, especially smoking, only exceptionally.
Age . The higher incidence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the elderly is mainly related to the accumulation of pollutants and risk factors.

Asthma and COPD are very serious illnesses. They shorten their lives and reduce their quality. Although heredity is involved in asthma, you can limit the likelihood of its occurrence, if it is serious, by modifying lifestyle. COPD is rare in non-smokers and people who are not professionally exposed to irritants. Do not smoke or initiate cessation as soon as possible is extremely important. This is true both for prevention and for treatment. Another important thing is the use of protective equipment in the work environment.

Author: Dominika Šťastná
Source: U lékař

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