Asthma triggers cause airway inflammation or irritation and lead to asthma symptoms. Some of the most common triggers can include:
- Tobacco use or second-hand smoke
- Exposure to cold air or sudden temperature change
- Colds or respiratory infections
- Air pollution or fumes
- Allergic reactions to pollen or mold
- Chalk dust
- Animal dander from cats, dogs, and other furred animals
- Feathers or feathered animals
- Cleaning agents
- New furnishings or equipment
- Dust, dust mites
- Vigorous exercise
- Strong odors such as dry erase markers, magic markers, perfumes or glue/paste
You can and should minimize your exposure from potential triggers from the environment by:
- Avoiding tobacco use or second-hand smoke.
- Reducing indoor humidity.
- Have your heating and ventilation systems serviced and cleaned regularly.
- Limiting your outdoor activities when pollen counts are high.
- Keep your environment clean and dust free.
- Avoid using strong-smelling cleansers and heavy perfumes.
- Warm-up before doing any vigorous exercise.
- Wear a scarf around your face during cold weather.
- Take a flu shot annually to protect yourself from flu exposure.
- Avoid furred or feathered pets.
- Reduce carpet and upholstered furniture in your home.
Try to isolate your particular triggers and do everything you can to avoid or minimize your exposure to them. The best way to deal with an asthma episode is to not have one.
If you’re interested in more detailed articles on asthma triggers, please see: Is Your Home Causing Your Asthma?, Asthma and Outdoor Air Pollution in Southern California and Asthma Proof Your Home.