What Triggers Asthma?

An asthma trigger can be anything that causes inflammation in the large and small airways of the lung, thus causing symptoms to flare. Everyone's asthma triggers are different, so it’s important to know what triggers bother you the most. Asthma triggers can be found indoors and outdoors but can also include physical activity.1 Below are a few of the most common asthma triggers:

  • Environmental Asthma Triggers2
    • Air pollution
    • Dust mites
    • Mold (indoor and outdoor)
    • Animal dander, saliva and urine
    • Cockroach allergen
    • Smoke from tobacco or burning wood or grass
  • Seasonal Asthma Triggers1,2
    • Tree, grass and weed pollen
    • Extreme changes in air temperature
    • Ozone alert days, which occur when temperatures pass 90 degrees and winds are less than 10 miles per hour3
  • Exercise-Induced Asthma Triggers2
    • Aerobic sports such as soccer, ice hockey and running
    • Exercise or other strenuous physical activities

It's difficult to avoid all asthma triggers. After figuring out what triggers your asthma or your child’s asthma, you can work on avoiding these triggers. Sticking to the asthma treatment plan your doctor has prescribed will also help keep inflammation and other asthma symptoms under control.

  1. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. So You Have Asthma. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/lung/asthma/have_asthma.pdf. Accessed September 11, 2012.
  2. Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America. Asthma Overview. Available at: http://www.aafa.org/asthma.html. Accessed September 11, 2012.
  3. East Texas Council of Governments: Northeast Texas Air Care (NETAC). "Ozone Action Days." Available at: http://www.netac.org/264/ozone-action-day.htm. Accessed November 8, 2012.