Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects your lungs and causes inflammation of the airways, leading to difficulty breathing. It affects individuals of all ages, but it commonly starts in childhood.  

You or a loved one may have observed some Asthma symptoms which include; shortness of breath, wheezing, or chest tightness (a heavy weight on the chest making it difficult to take in deep breaths).

It is important to note that the intensity and individuality of these symptoms might vary and not everyone with these symptoms may have asthma.  

What causes Asthma? 

It is often difficult to find a single, direct cause, however, some factors like the ones listed below have been linked to an increased risk of triggering attacks. 


A family history of asthma especially close relatives like parents or siblings, increased the likelihood of developing this condition. 


Allergic reactions to airborne substances such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mold, and animal droppings can trigger asthma symptoms. Other allergy disorders such as eczema and rhinitis (hay fever) are more prone to develop asthma. 

Environmental Factors:

Exposure to air pollution, tobacco smoke, industrial chemicals, and indoor/outdoor allergens can contribute to asthma development. 

Occupational Exposures:

Certain workplace environments with exposure to allergens, irritants, or fumes can trigger an asthma attack or worsen existing it’s symptoms. 

Early life experiences:

Smoking during pregnancy, preterm birth and low birth weight, early childhood respiratory infections, early introduction of solid foods and diet patterns can have an impact on the developing lungs and can raise the likelihood of acquiring asthma.

Respiratory Infections:

Particularly upper respiratory infections caused by viruses such as rhinovirus, influenza (flu) virus, and parainfluenza virus, can trigger asthma. Respiratory infections can lead to airway inflammation, mucus production, and bronchospasm, worsening it’s symptoms.

Excessive Exercise and Physical Activity:

The intensity and duration of exercise can trigger asthma attacks. High-intensity or prolonged exercise sessions, particularly without adequate warm-up or cool-down periods, can increase the risk of it’s symptoms. 

Emotional Factors:

Emotional stress, anxiety, and strong emotions like laughter or crying can trigger asthma attacks in some individuals. Stress hormones and physiological reactions to emotional stimuli can affect breathing patterns and airway function, leading to it’s symptoms. 


Certain medications, aspirin and ibuprofen, some pain relievers, can trigger symptoms.

Hormonal Changes:

Hormonal changes during menstruation, pregnancy, or hormonal fluctuations can affect asthma control in some women, leading to increased it’s symptoms 

Chayim Diagnostics offers a wide range of allergy tests. These are Allergen-specific Quantitative Immunoglobulin E (IgE) Panel tests with over 40 allergens tested and include Environmental/ Inhalative Panel, Food Allergen Panel, Pediatric Panel and more.  Click here to book your allergy test today 

There are several misconceptions about Asthma that have led to its mismanagement in some people. They include; 

Asthma Is Contagious: 

Misconception: Asthma is contagious and can be spread from person to person like a viral infection. 

Reality: It is not contagious. It is a non-communicable chronic condition influenced by genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. 

Asthma Is Just Allergic Reactions:

Misconception: Asthma is often associated solely with allergic reactions as its cause. 

Reality: While allergies can trigger asthma symptoms in some individuals (known as allergic asthma), It can also be triggered by non-allergic factors like respiratory infections, exercise, cold air, smoke, and stress (known as non-allergic asthma). It is not directly caused by allergies. 

Asthma Is Easily Cured by Medication: 

Misconception: Asthma can be easily cured or managed solely with medication. 

Reality: While medications, including inhalers are essential for managing and reducing symptoms, asthma management requires a comprehensive approach that includes identifying triggers, lifestyle modifications, environmental control, and regular monitoring by healthcare professionals. 

Asthma Is a Sign of Weakness or Poor Fitness:

Misconception: Asthma is a sign of weakness or poor physical fitness. 

Reality: It is a medical condition influenced by complex factors, including genetics, immune responses, and environmental exposures. It can affect individuals of all fitness levels and athletic abilities. 

Asthma Attacks 

This occurs when there is a sudden worsening of asthma symptoms caused by certain triggers. During an attack, the individual experiences panic or anxiety due to the sensation of not getting enough air. It is important to know how to identify and assist someone going through an attack.  

How to Identify Someone Going Through an Asthma Attack 

Identifying someone experiencing an attack involves recognizing specific symptoms associated with this condition. Here are some key indicators to look for: 

  • Rapid, shallow, or labored breathing. 
  • Discomfort or pain in the chest area, which may feel like squeezing or heaviness. 
  • Persistent or frequent coughing, especially at night or in response to triggers such as allergens or irritants. 
  • Bluish discoloration of the lips, fingertips, or nail beds (cyanosis) due to inadequate oxygenation. 

What to do in a case of an Asthma Attack 

If diagnosed, or know someone going through an attack, ensure to use a prescribed rescue inhaler as directed by your health physician. 

  • Ensure the inhaler is not expired and is in good working condition. 
  • Stand upright or sit in a comfortable position with good posture. 
  • Take off the cap from the inhaler and shake the inhaler well. 
  • Breathe out fully to empty your lungs as much as possible. 
  • Hold the inhaler upright with the mouthpiece facing you and the canister at the bottom. 
  • Place the mouthpiece between your lips, ensuring a tight seal around it with your lips to prevent medication leakage. 
  • Start inhaling slowly and deeply through your mouth as you press down on the canister. Coordinate pressing the canister with the start of inhalation to ensure proper medication delivery. 
  • Hold your breath for about 10 seconds or as long as it’s comfortable to allow the medication to settle in your airways and remove the inhaler from your mouth while continuing to hold your breath. 
  • Exhale slowly. 
  • Immediately seek medical assistance from a professional health physician. 

In the case where an inhaler is not available; 

  • Move away from the triggers. 
  • Try to sit up straight and remain as calm as you can as panic can worsen the situation. 
  • Try to take slow steady breaths. 
  • Seek medical assistance as soon as you notice symptoms of an attack 

If the person has a known history, previous attacks, or is currently using asthma medications, it increases the likelihood of identifying an attack. Ensure to always: 

  • Monitor symptoms 
  • Know and avoid triggers 
  • Stay hydrated 
  • Seek medical help 

At Chayim Diagnostics, we advocate for proactive healthcare by empowering individuals to take control of their well-being. We urge you to prioritize preventive measures, such as exploring our comprehensive array of allergen tests to discover potential allergens. Click here and search for “Allergens” to select your preferred test panel. Unsure about a suitable test panel? Feel free to contact us for personalized guidance. 


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