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Asthma Triggers

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Asthma triggers, as you can well understand from the term, are those agents that provoke asthma attack. An individual’s sensitivity to the triggers differs. It means- while one person can get an asthma attack on being exposed to pollens while others may not. Thus, one needs to identify the triggers he/she is sensitive to in order to prevent an asthma attack. We provide you a complete list of asthma triggers.


The most common trigger that we get exposed to is pollutant, which is present everywhere in the environment in numerous forms. Smoke released from vehicles, factories, etc., dust, poisonous gases, smog, etc. are dangerous for asthma patients.

Irritants, chemicals, medicines

Personal products like deodorants, perfumes, etc. and domestic cleaning  products contain aerosol, are capable of triggering asthma. Asthma patients need to be also careful about these chemicals- formaldehyde, nitrogen dioxide, etc.

Some people can succumb to asthma attack with intake of aspirin and NSAIDs.

Smoke and Tobacco

You need to stay away from smoke emitted while burning wood, coal or from puffing cigarettes. If you have severe asthma, then smoke effused while cooking can also trigger an attack. Direct smoking, second hand smoke and tobacco are detrimental for the health of lungs and can damage the airways.


If you have a pet at home, then you need to be utmost careful. Coming in contact with pet dander, hair, fur, feathers, and even urine can cause severe shortness in breath.

Pollen, mites, mould, fungi

You should stay away from flowers if you are sensitive to pollens. Children should be careful about it. Make sure your house is free from dust, mites, cobwebs, mould, fungi, cockroach droppings, and termites. All these are very common asthma triggers.

Infections and Weather

Cold and flu are biggest triggers of asthma. Patients need to be careful especially during winters as it’s the season of viral and bacterial infections. Even dry weather and cold wind can lead to shortness in breath.

Health Conditions

Medical conditions like sinusitis, respiratory tract infections, and acid reflux with heartburn can lead to asthma attack.

Over exercise, Stress and Anxiety

Asthma patients need to be careful about the exercises they are doing. Too much strenuous and hectic regimen is not advised. This is known as exercise-induced asthma. Furthermore, asthma is also triggered by emotional stress and anxiety.

Foods and food additives

Food allergies can cause severe reactions and you must avoid those foods that you are allergic to. Some food triggers are eggs, soy, cow’s milk, pea nuts, sea food, wheat, etc. You should also be careful about additives and preservatives like potassium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, sodium bisulfite, etc.

Every people show different response to asthma triggers. However, to be on the safe side, you must take precaution to avoid exposing yourself to the triggers and eliminate chances of asthma attacks.

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Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: January 19, 2015