Home  >  Health Encyclopedia  >  Health Encyclopedia Home

Health Encyclopedia

 

Health Encyclopedia Home



Triggers for Asthma AttacksDesencadenantes de los Ataques de Asma

Triggers for Asthma Attacks

What are the triggers that can cause an asthma attack?

Man sneezing

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the American Lung Association, triggers for asthma may include:

Allergens

Respiratory infections and sinusitis

  • Pollen

  • Mold

  • Animal protein (dander, urine, oil from skin)

  • House dust or dust mites

  • Cockroach droppings

  • Certain foods

Infections can cause irritation of the airways, nose, throat, lungs, and sinuses, and may precede an asthma attack.

Irritants

Sensitivity to medications

  • Strong odors and sprays, such as perfumes, household cleaners, cooking fumes, paints, and varnishes

  • Chemicals, such as coal, chalk dust, or talcum powder

  • Air pollutants, such as tobacco smoke, wood smoke, chemicals in the air and ozone

  • 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 additives, such as sulfites, cause up to 20 percent of adult asthmatic attacks as a result of sensitivities or allergies to them. These medications often include:

  • Aspirin

  • Other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, indomethacin, and naproxen

  • Sulfites used as preservatives in food and beverage

  • Beta blockers used for heart disease, high blood pressure, migraines, and glaucoma. 

Before taking any medication, including over-the-counter medications, talk with your health care provider.

Exercise

Gastroesophageal reflux

Strenuous physical 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 more likely to induce asthma.

GERD, 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.

Smoke

Emotional anxiety and nervous stress

Tobacco smoke, 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.

Reactions from stress and anxiety can increase either asthma symptoms or bring on an attack.

 
Related Items
Quizzes
  Asthma Awareness Quiz
  Childhood Asthma Quiz
  Asthma Knowledge Quiz
  Asthma Quiz
Adult Diseases and Conditions
  All About Asthma
  Treatment for Asthma
  Management of Asthma
  Asthma and Exercise
  Glossary - Allergy and Asthma
  Home Page - Allergy and Asthma
  Online Resources - Allergy and Asthma
  Asthma and Pregnancy
  Topic Index - Allergy and Asthma
  Allergy and Asthma Statistics
  Asthma Attacks
  Asthma
  Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases (COPD)
  Allergy Overview
Pediatric Diseases and Conditions
  All About Asthma in Children
  During an Asthma Attack
  Asthma and Children
  Asthma in Children Index
  Asthma Attack Triggers
  Avoiding Asthma Triggers
  Glossary - Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
  Hand-Held Nebulizer Treatments
  Home Page - Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
  Levels of Asthma
  Management and Treatment of Asthma
  Asthma Medications
  Online Resources - Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
  Peak Flow Meters/Oximeters/Spirometers
  Topic Index - Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
  Pregnancy and Medical Conditions
  Chronic Respiratory Disorders