No one knows exactly what causes asthma. However, certain risk factors have been identified in the development of asthma, which includes:
- Genetics - Asthma tends to run in families. For example, if either one of a person's parents has asthma, they are more likely to develop the condition as well.
- Allergies - Asthma is linked to certain allergies; allergic conditions are linked to people who get asthma.
- Respiratory Infections - Certain respiratory infections have been shown to cause inflammation and damage the lung tissue; if the damage is caused in infancy or early childhood, it can impact lung function long-term and increase the risk of developing asthma.
- Environment - Contact with allergens or certain irritants in early childhood has been linked to developing asthma. In adult-onset asthma, exposure to certain chemicals and dust in the workplace may also play a significant role.