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List Of Potential Asthma Triggers

Asthma is a multifaceted disease. It’s a heterogeneous disease, meaning it presents differently from one person to another. So, this means that one person may have many different asthma triggers. It means that different asthmatics may have triggers that are unique to the individual. That said, here is a running list of all the asthma triggers I can think of.

Allergens

Dust mites feces

Many people think it’s the actual mite we are allergic to. But, the truth is that it’s actually their feces. It becomes easily airborne and inhaled. This is what triggers the allergic response.

Pollen

These are seemingly ubiquitous triggers that are generally seasonal. Tree pollen is present in the spring. It triggers what used to be called hay fever or hay asthma.

Ragweed and grass pollen are prevalent during the summer and fall seasons. There are may plants that pollinate.  Every one of them can potentially trigger allergies and asthma.

Mold spores

Mold is a fungus. It grows anywhere their is moisture, and this includes warm, humid air. So, mold produces spores that can become airborne, inhaled, and may trigger the allergy asthma responses.

Animal dander

Dander is microscopic flakes of animal skin that are easily aerosolized and inhaled. There are various animals that asthmatics are allergic to, ranging from dogs, cats, horses, etc.

Certain foods

There are many foods that may trigger allergies and asthma. Potential culprits here are nuts, peanuts, seafood, egg, soy, fruit, wheat, garlic, corn, and sesame.

Cockroach urine

This is a trigger of asthma in older homes. Again, it’s not the actual cockroaches that are the culprits, but their urine.

Airway irritants

Smoke

This includes tobacco, marijuana, other plants, and wood smoke.

All smoke comes from biomass. Biomass is anything that used to be alive. When any biomass is burned, smoke is created. This smoke contains microscopic particles and chemicals that are easily inhaled. These substances may irritate airways to trigger asthma.

Gastrointestinal reflux

You chew food. Food dissolves. Food travels down your esophagus where it is digested by stomach acids. Sometimes stomach juices can make their way back up the esophagus to create heartburn. Microscopic amounts of these juices can also enter the airways where it can irritate them and trigger asthma.

Strong smells

Colognes and perfume may emit strong smells that may trigger asthma attacks. Smells from laundry detergents and soaps may trigger attacks.

Fumes

Fumes may be emitted from gases and other substances. Many asthmatics are exposed to fumes at their work that may trigger asthma.

Chemicals

These may be emitted into the air at your work to trigger asthma. A good example are chemicals inside spray bottles used for cleaning.

Respiratory infections

Respiratory viruses are easily aerosolized and inhaled. Many asthma experts consider them the most common asthma trigger among the asthma and COPD communities. They irritate airways to release chemicals that trigger both cold and asthma symptoms. For this reason, colds may be worse in asthmatics than non-asthmatics.

Hot and humid weather

Hot air tends to hold more water. This makes the air thick, and this may make air harder to inhale. Humid air also creates a breeding ground for other asthma triggers. This is especially true for dust mites and mold spores.

Freezing cold weather

Cold air tends to be dry. This dry air may irritate airway cells in such a way to cause them to release chemicals such as histamine. In this way, inhaling cold air may trigger asthma. The effect of cold air may be exaggerated when vigorously exercising (running) in cold air.

Exercise

Most asthmatics may experience some degree of symptoms during or just after vigorous exercise. This may be most prevalent when running, especially when running in cold air.

Strong emotions

Strong emotions may cause the release of chemicals inside your body. These chemicals may trigger asthma. This may explain why stress, anxiety, depression, and even laughter, may trigger asthma.

Dust particles

Dust can also get into the air and be easily inhaled. The easiest way to see this is by driving fast with the windows open on a dirt or gravel road.

Dust particles sitting inside air conditioners may be why some people experience asthma soon after their air conditioners are turned on for the season. This dust may also contain dust mites and dust mite feces, which may also trigger asthma.

What asthma triggers would you add to the list?

This is a running list of all the asthma triggers I could think of. I know that many of you may experience other asthma triggers. So, let us know what triggers your asthma in the comments below. Also, if I missed a trigger or two or ten, please let me know that too in the comments below.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Shellzoo
    4 weeks ago

    Nice list. Sometimes I just can’t decide what the trigger is. I have so many allergies it could be exposure to too many triggers at one time. For me, getting my GERD controlled, losing weight and getting allergy shots have really helped.

  • John Bottrell, RRT moderator author
    4 weeks ago

    Thank you! Sometimes it certainly can be hard to pinpoint the trigger. Glad to hear you got your GERD under control and lost weight. Allergy shots work pretty good for you too? John. Site Moderator.

  • Shellzoo
    4 weeks ago

    The allergy shots have really helped but my doctor helped me recognize that my symptoms flare up about a week before the shots are due so I get to continue them for now. I have had the shots for 5 years. I still get allergy symptoms but instead of taking multiple allergy meds daily, I take them when I have symptoms. In the Spring/Summer I am pretty much symptom free. Winter is when my allergies get bad. Which means indoor triggers are one of my problems.

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