In the United States, approximately 8% of adults and 7% of children have asthma. It’s a prevalent condition with no cure, although there are many effective treatments available to manage the symptoms. There are several factors that may play a role in asthma development, one of which being viral infections.
There is more research yet to be done about the connection between viral infections and the risk of developing asthma. However, with current findings, it’s clear that there is a link between some viruses and asthma development, mainly in children.
Viral Infections And Asthma Risk
Viral infections that occur early in one’s life can impact asthma development, as well as the severity of the condition. Some viral infections lead to inflammation and obstruction of the bronchioles, or small airways. This leads to coughing and wheezing, as well as an increased risk of developing asthma throughout adolescence.
It is important to note that not all viral infections affect the risk of asthma development. RSV and HRV are the two most prevalent viruses that have been found to be linked to asthma development. (RSV stands for respiratory syncytial virus, and HRV stands for human rhinovirus.)
Almost all infants become infected with RSV within the first three years of life. However, children who suffer from wheezing with RSV are at a heightened risk of it becoming recurrent. These children may also be at a higher risk of asthma and this is especially true for children who develop recurrent wheezing with HRV.
Dr. Kratz at Kratz Allergy & Asthma is an asthma specialist in the Port Richey and Trinity areas. He provides a range of asthma treatments, including cutting-edge asthma therapies, to help patients manage symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and chest tightness. To learn more contact us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kratz.