Triggers vs. Causes of Asthma

By: mikeherman1
For asthma patients the day-to-day management of the disease becomes an important part of everyday life. Controlling asthma means paying careful attention to the causes and triggers of the asthma.

The " trigger factors ", or " triggers ", of asthma are used to describe the things that can cause an attack in someone who already has asthma.

It is something that sets off an attack, but which does not make a patient asthmatic in the first place.

A " cause" is something without which an effect (such as asthma) will not happen.

That is, a cause is something without which the patient would not be asthmatic. There may be more than one cause for an asthma attack.

However, there is a lot of confusion surrounding these terms.

If a patient has an allergy to cats, dogs, pollen, mould in wallpaper or house dust mites that cause asthma many describe them as "triggering an attack".

By demoting causes, by calling them triggers, makes people think they are not so important, and that maybe they should just keep using their inhalers instead of making efforts to root out the causes of their asthma and remove these from their environment.

For example, if you don't have asthma, or your asthma is well controlled, then a cold will not give you any of the symptoms of asthma.

So in this sense, it is fair to call the cold a " trigger factor " for asthmatics.

But if an asthmatic has an attack whenever they go near dogs, when dogs have been the cause of asthma (for instance; the reason they have asthma is because of dogs) , going near a dog can trigger an attack.

In other words, a dog can be a cause of asthma 'and' also a trigger of an attack.

Concentrating only on the triggering of the attacks misses the really important point that contact with dogs was a cause of the asthma in the first place.

Asthma sufferers will want to avoid both causes and triggers of asthma, but the causes are more serious nature. If there was no cause and the asthma didn't exist, the triggers would do absolutely no harm.

Asthma - triggers vs causes ...

??When talking about diseases, it is important to distinguish between causes and triggers.

??A trigger for asthma is something which sets off an attack, but which does not make you asthmatic in the first place.

??A cause is something without which an effect (such as asthma) would not be happening. That is, a cause is something without which you would not be asthmatic.
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