Triggers for Asthma
|What are the triggers
that can cause an asthma attack?
According to the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious
Diseases, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, and
other organizations, triggers for asthma include:
- animal protein (dander, urine,
oil from skin)
- house dust/dust mites
- certain foods
Infections and Sinusitis
Infections can cause irritation of
the airways, nose, throat, lungs, and sinuses, and may precede an
- strong odors and sprays, such as
perfumes, household cleaners, cooking fumes, paints, and
- chemicals such as coal, chalk
dust, or talcum powder
- changing weather conditions,
including changes in temperature, barometric pressure,
humidity, and strong winds
- Chemical-exposure on the job,
such as occupational vapors, dust, gases, or fumes.
Medications, such as aspirin and
sulfites, cause up to 20 percent of adult asthmatic attacks as a
result of sensitivities or allergies to them. These medications
- other non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, indomethacin,
- sulfites used as preservatives
in food and beverage
Before taking any medication,
including over-the-counter medications, talk with your physician.
Exercise can trigger an asthma
attack, often because of the inhaled cool and dry air. Long-term
strenuous activities such as long distance running, are most
likely to induce asthma, and swimming is the least likely.
GRD, or indigestion, a condition
characterized by persistent reflux of stomach acids, is common in
individuals with asthma. Symptoms may include heartburn, belching,
or spitting up in infants.
whether directly or passively inhaled, has been shown to have
harmful effects on the airways.
Wood smoke from
wood-burning heating stoves and fireplaces can
release irritating chemicals such as sulfur dioxide.
Anxiety and Nervous Stress
Reactions from stress and anxiety
are considered to be more of an effect than a cause. They can
cause fatigue, which may affect the immune system and, in turn,
increase either asthma symptoms or bring on an attack.