Do You Know Your Asthma Triggers?

Do You Know Your Asthma Triggers?

Do You Know Your Asthma Triggers?


Most people understand that exercise and other strenuous activity can cause their asthma to flare up.  But have you ever experienced sudden asthma symptoms and weren’t sure what caused them?  This is common among people with asthma, which can be triggered by a variety of factors.

If you’re not always aware of what brings on your symptoms, it can be a good idea to keep a quick asthma journal.  When you notice symptoms, even if they are subtle, note the date and time and write down any key information about your surroundings and what you are doing.  Over time, you may start to notice patterns that can help you better understand your asthma.

Knowing your asthma triggers is a key step in avoiding them and managing your health.  Be aware of these common asthma triggers and learn more about your body’s response to them.

Allergens.  Both indoor and outdoor allergens can aggravate asthma, even if you don’t experience any other allergy symptoms.  Outdoor allergens like pollen may make your asthma worse at certain times of the year while indoor allergens, including dust or pet dander, may cause your immune system to react differently in some environments.

Airborne irritants  such as smoke, chemical fumes or other strong odors.  You may find that your symptoms are brought on by certain cleaning products or air-fresheners, which are typically easy to avoid.

Medications, supplements or food additives.  Any of these substances can have side effects that include a risk for respiratory problems.  If you are concerned that something in your diet is triggering your asthma, keep careful track of your symptoms and speak with your doctor.

Extreme weather.  Cold air is most often the cause for concern with asthma but hot air can also create problems.  Take note of changes in humidity and wind since these can induce symptoms as well.

Stress.  You might notice more frequent and more severe asthma symptoms when you have a lot happening at work or in your personal life.  Stress can be difficult to avoid so it’s important to understand when and how this factor affects your asthma.

Emotions.  Sudden outbursts like laughing or crying can bring on asthma symptoms very quickly, especially when these last for prolonged periods of time.  We’d never recommend that you avoid laughing!  But you should observe how your body reacts to these situations when they occur.

Colds and the flu.  Asthma can make cold and flu symptoms worse and it also puts you at an increased risk for respiratory infections like pneumonia.  People with asthma should be especially cautious when they get sick and monitor their symptoms carefully.

Kevin Arnold

Kevin Arnold writes about asthma and allergies, travel and healthy living.  For more tips and information, check out all of his posts at