The Top Ten Triggers for Asthma Attacks

Asthma, which causes inflammation of the airways, is becoming more common. It is estimated that there are now more than 20 million people in the United States who suffer with the disease. Those people who do suffer with asthma become more sensitive to certain irritants that can trigger asthma attacks and those triggers can be different for different individuals. If an asthma sufferer can identify what triggers their asthma attacks, they can take steps to avoid those triggers. Here are the top ten most common triggers for asthma recommended by

1. Exercise

Strenuous exercise is a common trigger for asthma, but a lack of exercise can cause other health problems and aggravate asthma. If it is exercise that triggers your asthma, you could try sports such as golf, baseball or walking, which will give you some exercise but will be less likely to trigger asthma. Some propel also find that swimming doesn’t trigger asthma, because the damp air helps to soothe the airways.

2. Cold air

Sudden changes in temperature and cold air can be a trigger for some people. Unfortunately, there is nothing that anyone can do about the weather, but if you are aware that cold air is a trigger for you, you can wear a scarf over your mouth and nose in the winter and you can avoid air conditioned buildings when you can.

3. Medication

Some types of medication can be a trigger for asthma, for example, beta blockers or ibuprofen. If you do think that medication may be causing asthma attacks, you should consult a doctor, who may be able to suggest an alternative medication.

4. Tobacco smoke

While a lot has been done to reduce people’s exposure to tobacco smoke, even a small amount of smoke of any kind can be a problem for some asthma suffers. If smoke is a trigger for you, avoid places where people might be smoking, ask people not to smoke around you, and avoid situations where there might be smoke in the air, such as rooms with wood burning fires.

5. Acid Reflux

Acid reflux occurs when the digestive acids in the stomach rise up the digestive tract. In most people it just causes an uncomfortable pain in the chest and throat, but in asthma suffers, it can cause an asthma attack. If acid reflux is causing asthma attacks, you can treat the reflux with over-the-counter medication. You can also try to identify the types of foods that might be causing the reflux and adjust your diet accordingly.

6. Pets

Allergies are one of the most common triggers of asthma and allergies to pets, such as dogs, cats and other warm blooded animals can trigger asthma attacks in some people. The best way to avoid pet allergens is to avoid pets altogether, but if you are a pet lover, washing your pet regularly will help, or you could restrict your pet to certain rooms in the home so that you have some allergen free areas.

7. Common illnesses

Common illnesses, such as colds and flu, are likely to trigger asthma attacks and make the symptoms of asthma more severe. Asthma sufferers are advised to do all they can to avoid contracting such illnesses, such as having regular flu shot, avoiding people who are already unwell, eating a healthy diet and taking a form of exercise that doesn’t trigger their asthma.

8. Mold

Mold can grow anywhere where it is damp and mold releases tiny spores that can trigger asthma. It is virtually impossible to avoid coming into contact with mold when you are out of the home, but inside the home you can avoid mold, but not leaving anything damp lying around and keeping your home warm and dry.

9. Food allergies

The most common allergies that cause asthma are mold, dust, pollen and pets, but some people find that certain foods can trigger attacks, such as dairy products, nuts, shellfish and wheat. As with the any type of food allergy, the only way to avoid a reaction is to isolate which foods cause the attacks and then avoid eating those foods.

10. Dust mites

Dust mites and other insect pests can cause asthma attacks in some people. Dust mites can be found in every home and the only way you can control them is to keep your home as clean as possible and vacuum your mattress regularly. A waterproof mattress cover can also help control dust mites, because it stops the mites breeding in the mattress.

The best way to isolate which of the above might be causing your asthma attacks is to keep an asthma diary. Keep a daily journal of what you do, what you eat, and what you come into contact with, along with a note a when and where the asthma attacks occur. You will then be able to find the link between your asthma attacks and one or more of the above common triggers of asthma.