Six Most Common Asthma Triggers: Asthma is a chronic disease affecting the lungs, causing airways to inflame. The inflammation of airways reduces the flow of air into and out of the lungs, making it harder to breathe. Recurrent attacks, known as asthma attacks, happen when something bothers or irritates the lungs.
Certain exposures, or triggers, to the environment can worsen asthma and cause asthma attacks and its symptoms of coughing, chest tightness, wheezing and trouble breathing. Triggers include:
Six Most Common Asthma Triggers: #1 Allergens
A variety of allergens are also triggers for asthma attacks. One may not even know what causes the attacks and it is a big possibility that it is an allergen. Your allergist can identify what you are allergic to and recommend ways to avoid exposure to triggers. Allergens include dust mites, pet dander, mold, cockroach and their droppings, pollen, and food additives which usually cause food allergies.
Six Most Common Asthma Triggers: #2 Stress
Emotional anxiety and stress may increase asthma symptoms and trigger an attack. Proper rest, diet and exercise can help manage asthma. Although, many patients with asthma develop asthma symptoms when exercising. Such physical stress is called exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB).
Six Most Common Asthma Triggers: #3 Tobacco Smoking
Tobacco smoke is unhealthy for everyone, especially for people with asthma. Secondhand smoking can also lead to an asthma attack. If you are a smoker, quitting will severely help asthma symptoms. Try to limit your contact with smoke and things contaminated by smoke, such as furniture that smells like smoke or a car.
Six Most Common Asthma Triggers: #4 Heartburn
Severe heartburn and asthma often go hand-in-hand. Up to 89% of those with asthma also suffer from severe heartburn, known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In GERD, a valve, between the esophagus and stomach that prevents stomach acids from backing up into the esophagus, does not function properly. The stomach acids reflux, or back up, into the esophagus; if acid reaches into the throat or airways the irritation and inflammation can trigger an asthma attack.
Six Most Common Asthma Triggers: #5 Medications
Some medications can cause or worsen asthma symptoms. These include aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), and beta-blockers, which are used to treat heart disease, high blood pressure, migraine headaches or glaucoma.
Six Most Common Asthma Triggers: #6 Air Changes
Exposure to harsh, cold air is enough to cause an asthma attack. People who suffer with asthma may notice more attacks during the winter season. Dry air, weather or temperature changes, and humidity can also trigger a reaction. Air pollution or strong fumes from factories, cars, and other sources can lead to an asthma attack.