Asthma and Allergies: Asthma Triggers

Asthma Inhaler An asthma attack can happen when you are exposed to asthma triggers, which vary from person to person. Once you identify and try to reduce exposure to specific triggers, it’s becomes much easier to control your asthma and reduce the frequency of attacks.

Below is a list of some common asthma triggers:

1. Foods

Food allergies can cause mild to severe reactions, including asthma attacks. Some of the more common foods people are allergic to are cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, fish, shrimp and/or shellfish, and wheat. If you think you may be allergic to a specific type of food, take notice of your symptoms when you eat it and then see your doctor. It’s best to avoid that food until you have a confirmed diagnosis of an allergic reaction since your next allergic reaction could be severe or even life-threatening.

2. Smoking

It’s very common to find that people who smoke also have asthma. If you smoke with asthma, it can make symptoms like coughing much worse. Quitting is the best thing you can do for yourself to protect your lungs. Secondhand smoke can also trigger an asthma attack. If smoke is your trigger, you should avoid being around people who smoke and should not let anyone smoke in your home or your car.

3. Outdoor Air Pollution

Pollution can come from cars, factories, and other sources. Air quality forecasts will help you know when air pollution is high so that you can avoid outdoor activities that may aggravate your asthma.

4. Cockroaches

Many people are allergic to cockroaches and their droppings, which can cause asthmatic reactions. If you have cockroaches in your home, take the necessary steps to remove them. Use gel traps, call an exterminator, and do whatever works best to get them out of your house.

5. Dust Mites

Another common trigger of asthma is dust mites, which are found in almost every home. Using mattress covers and removing any down-filled pillows or comforters can help to prevent attacks. Washing bedding frequently and on the hottest setting is also a good way to reduce populations of dust mites.

6. Mold

Mold is another common trigger for asthma. Warm temperatures and lots of moisture in the air can cause mold to grow. Proper ventilation in bathrooms as well as using a dehumidifier to keep humidity levels down can help prevent this problem. Also be sure to fix any water leaks, which allow mold to grow in inconspicuous places like behind walls or in your ceilings.

7. Pets

It may be difficult to give up a furry loved one, but if you think your cat or dog might be causing your asthma symptoms, it might be best to find him or her another home. There are certain breeds of cats and dogs that shed less, have less dander or don’t have any fur at all — these pets may be the best choice for asthma sufferers if you are considering getting a pet.

8. Other Triggers

Illnesses such as the flu, colds, or other respiratory infections can trigger an asthma attack. When the sinuses get infected, they can become irritated and swollen, which often aggravates a person’s asthma as well. Thus, prevention and quick treatment of sinus infections will help relieve asthma symptoms.

Physical exercise can also exacerbate asthma symptoms and sometimes lead to an attack. It’s important to monitor yourself while exercising and warm up slowly prior to strenuous physical activity, these precautions may help prevent an attack.

There are obviously many causes of asthma. Reactions to causes and triggers are different for everyone and can vary depending on many different factors such as the weather, the season, etc. Often, people have multiple causes that can instigate an asthma attack. What’s important is recognizing and avoiding any specific triggers when possible to help control your asthma, along with following any medical advice and regimen your doctor prescribes.

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