Asthma in Teens and Adults (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
What Increases Your Risk
Many factors may increase your risk of developing asthma. Some of these are not within your control; others you can control. The main things that put you at risk for developing asthma as an adult are ongoing (chronic) wheezing when you were a child and cigarette smoking.5, 6
Asthma risk factors that you cannot control
The following risk factors are not within your control:
Asthma risk factors that you can control
You may be able to change some factors to reduce your or your teen's risk for asthma. These include:
No one is sure if breast-feeding affects a child's risk of getting asthma. Some studies show that breast-feeding protects a child from getting asthma.10, 11 Other studies show that breast-feeding, especially when mothers with asthma breast-feed, may actually raise a child's risk of getting asthma.12 A large study following children until 14 years of age found that breast-feeding had no effect on the development of asthma.13 Mothers are encouraged to breast-feed their children for all the other proven health benefits that come from breast-feeding.
Experts are also not sure about the effect that pets in the home have on getting asthma. Some research shows that having cats or dogs in the home raises an adult's risk of getting asthma.14 But other research has seemed to show that being around pets early in life might actually protect a child against getting asthma.15 If your child already has asthma and allergies to pets, having a pet in the home will make his or her asthma worse.
Risk factors that may make asthma worse (triggers)
Triggers that may make asthma worse and may lead to asthma attacks include:
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