Why has asthma become more common?

Asthma is a common respiratory condition that seems to be on the rise. It is commonly diagnosed during childhood, but more adults are also being diagnosed with the condition than in the past. This increase in the rates of asthma can be seen everywhere from the emergency rooms of hospitals across the country to the offices of primary care providers, but why is asthma suddenly becoming more common? Although experts are still trying to figure out the answers, there are some theories that could explain this increase in disease.

Pollution
As the video suggests, may experts point to an increase in air pollution as the cause of an increase in asthma rates. Particles in the air from chemicals, cigarettes, smoke from commercial facilities, and even farm animals could be causing people to experience asthma symptoms more often.

The rise in e-cigarettes could also be to blame. As mentioned in the video, no one really knows the long-term consequences of e-cigarettes. They could be releasing pollutants that exacerbate respiratory problems, including asthma, for people who are exposed to secondhand smoke, and they could also be increasing the risk of asthma in people who use them.

Hygiene hypothesis
The hygiene hypothesis is the idea that homes and public spaces are kept so clean in many developed countries that children’s immune systems are not able to develop appropriately. According to the hypothesis, children aren’t exposed to enough germs for their immune systems to develop the ability to tell the difference between dangerous germs and normal substances, so the body overacts to things like allergens, causing asthma symptoms.

According to the hygiene hypothesis, people who live on farms develop asthma and other respiratory issues at lower rates than others, because they are exposed to more germs. The hygiene hypothesis is also being examined as a cause of autoimmune diseases, like type 1 diabetes.

Asthma can be a disconcerting diagnosis, but at Southern Hills Hospital & Medical Center , we’re here to help you manage it every step of the way. From emergency care in Las Vegas for urgent symptoms to outpatient care to manage your condition, we have the treatments and providers you need. Contact us at (702) 916-5023 to request a referral to one of our physicians.

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