Asthma in children in the UK and China
Asthma is a condition that affects the airways of the lungs, the small tubes that carry air in and out. [ref1] when an asthma trigger is set off, the muscles around the walls of the airways tighten, causing the airways to narrow, the lining of the airways become inflamed and swell. Sticky mucus is made that narrows the airways even more causing coughing. Responses cause the airways to become irritated and narrow thus making it difficult to breath leading to symptoms of asthma.
When looking at the cause of asthma there is not one clear reason for the development of the condition. There are many factors to why a child develops asthma. The risk of a child developing asthma can be due to a child’s genetics or their environment; this is especially apparent in their early life. [ref2]
Asthma in children is increased if there is a family history of asthma or other related allergic conditions such as eczema, hay fever or a food allergy. If a child develops an allergic condition such as eczema, hay fever or a food allergy, this could increase the chance of the development of asthma. Bronchiolitis can increase the risk of asthma in children. Tobacco smoke increases the risk of children developing asthma, especially if the mother smokes during pregnancy. If a child is premature or has a birth weight of 4lb 5oz or under the higher the risk of developing childhood asthma. [ref3]
There are many triggers that can bring on asthma symptoms. Chest infections can trigger asthma, chest infections can be bought on by a common cold or flu. [ref4] Many allergens can trigger asthma, pollen, animal fur or feathers.
Airborne irritants may trigger asthma, cigarette smoke, chemical fumes and pollution. Medicines such as aspirin and ibuprofen may trigger of asthma, though many asthma sufferers do not have a reaction when taking these medications. Emotional factors like stress or laughing can also act as a trigger. Food containing...