Asthma Triggers

Recognizing and Dealing with Your Asthma Triggers

People that have asthma can often reduce their allergy symptoms simply by being aware of what sets off an asthma attack. Asthma triggers vary widely for different people, but knowledge of those triggers will help them keep their breathing under control.

Common Allergens

Most people with asthma are very well aware of at least a couple of their asthma triggers. These can vary widely between people, but common allergens are the ones that affect many. These may include:

  • Pollens
  • Dust mites
  • Molds
  • Foods
  • Insects

Getting rid of these allergens will take more than an occasional cleaning. People with asthma are extra sensitive to them, and greater diligence will be needed to keep them under control enough so as not to trigger an asthma attack. Humidity levels may also need to be watched so that they stay under 45 percent, which will help prevent mold from growing. It will also help if you remove carpet from concrete basement floors and bathrooms.

Cold Air

Living in a colder climate can be bad for people who have an asthma attack when exposed to cold air. This can also trigger an attack when exercising outdoors in cold air. Stormy weather is another trigger for some people.

Air Pollutants

If you live in a city and pollutants in the air trigger an asthma attack, you are apt to have more problems than if you lived in the country. Pollutants come in many forms in a city, including smog, fumes from diesel engines, and changes in the weather. To avoid problems with air pollution, you may need to stay indoors as much as possible, especially on days when air pollution is high, or you can wear a mask to help you breathe easier.

Cigarette smoke is another trigger, whether you are a smoker yourself, or are breathing second-hand smoke. Smoke that comes from burning wood may be another source of asthma problems, but it may be a larger problem in the country and small towns. Others may find that various fumes from chemicals may also affect you and start an asthma reaction. These may include:

  • Perfumes
  • Cleaning agents
  • Deodorants
  • Paint
  • Detergents
  • Chemicals
  • Dust
Pet Dander

Pets are another frequent cause of asthma. It is not the fur that most people are allergic to, but their dander. This can be in the air throughout your home, even when your home is clean. Regular cleaning will need to be performed often, and bare floors mopped at least once a week. Serious allergies, however, require the removal of the pet, or keep the pet outside.

Food Allergies

For many people, something as common as certain types of food may trigger their asthma. Foods that are often found to be triggers include:

  • Peanuts
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Tree nuts
  • Shellfish
  • Fresh fruits
  • And more
Stress

Events or things that affect the emotions can be another asthma trigger for some people. This means they need to watch things around them to ensure that they are not too strongly impacted by emotions, such as:

  • Yelling
  • Crying
  • Laughing
  • Stress

If these emotions are triggering your asthma, you may need to make sure you get enough rest, as well as being sure to eat healthy and exercise.

Physical Activity

Getting active is another trigger in some people. For them, it will lead to tightness in the chest, coughing, and breathing difficulties. An attack may come within the first few minutes of physical activity, but will typically disappear for the next 30 to 60 minutes as you continue to exercise. Be sure to start slowly and warm up to help avoid an asthma attack while you exercise.

Learning your various triggers can enable you to have much greater control over your asthma and fewer incidents. Avoid the triggers as much as possible and be sure to carry necessary medications with you for best results.

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