3. Occupational Exposure
In cases where asthma is genetic, it will often develop early in childhood and then continue potentially indefinitely. Many of us know people who have seemingly been sucking on inhalers their entire lives!
However, asthma is also sometimes known to develop and appear later in life. Some people who have never had any signs of asthma will develop it as they get older. This can be due to a number of causes, and one of the most common is occupational exposure. In other words, when you are exposed to certain elements in your workplace, this can aggravate the sensitive tissues in the airways to such an extent that you end up developing asthma where perhaps you never had any before.
The best way to think of this interplay between genetics and lifestyle is as a genetic ‘predisposition’. Someone might be initially predisposed toward asthma, but then find that it is their life experiences and situation that actually causes the condition to present itself.
Should someone have that predisposition but never be exposed to damaging air, then they may never develop the condition. Should they be exposed but not have the initially sensitive airways, then they might still be okay.