are the different triggers for asthma?
Asthma is a common long-term inflammatory disease
of the airways of the lungs. It is characterized by
variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction,
If you frequently
experience shortness of breath or you hear a whistling or wheezy sound in your
chest when you breathe, you may have asthma. This results in asthma symptoms,
including coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. If it
is severe, asthma can result in decreased activity and inability to talk. Asthma
symptoms affect an estimated 26 million Americans — 19 million
adults and 7 million children — and are one of the leading causes of absences
from work and school.
Triggers for asthma
A trigger is something
that sets off or starts asthma symptoms. Everyone’s asthma is different, and
everyone has different triggers. For most people with asthma, triggers are only
a problem when their asthma is not well-controlled with medicine.
How Do Triggers Make Asthma Worse?
In people with asthma,
the airways are always inflamed and very sensitive, so they react to a variety
of external factors, or “triggers.” Coming into contact with these
triggers is what causes the symptoms of asthma — the airways tighten and
become more inflamed, mucus blocks the airways and results in a worsening of
asthma symptoms. An asthma attack can begin immediately after exposure to a
trigger or several days or even weeks later.
Different Triggers for asthma
Dust mites are tiny bugs that are in
almost every home. Dust mites can trigger an asthma attack. To prevent attacks,
use mattress covers and pillowcase covers to make a barrier between dust mites
and yourself. Wash your bedding weekly.
Cockroaches and their droppings can
trigger an asthma attack.
roach traps or gels to cut down on the number of cockroaches in your home.
Exercise and other activities that
make you breathe harder can affect your asthma. Exercise, especially in cold
air, is a frequent asthma trigger.
Dry wind, cold air or sudden changes
in weather can sometimes bring on an asthma episode. Strong fumes,
vapors, or odors, dusts and particles in the air can also trigger asthma
Breathing in mold can trigger an
asthma attack. Get rid of mold in your home to help control your attacks.
Outdoor air pollution can trigger an
asthma attack. This pollution can come from factories, cars, and other sources.
Tobacco smoke is unhealthy for
everyone, especially people with asthma. If you have asthma and you smoke, quit
“Secondhand smoke” is smoke created
by a smoker and breathed in by a second person. Secondhand smoke can trigger an
asthma attack. If you have asthma, people should never smoke near you, in your
home, in your car, or wherever you may spend a lot of time.
Survey results suggest that 75 per
cent of people with asthma say alcohol triggers their symptoms. Red wine is the
main culprit, followed by white wine, beer and then cider.
Food preservatives can trigger
isolated asthma. Sulfite additives are commonly used in food processing or
preparation and may trigger asthma in those people who are sensitive.
The most common foods associated with
allergic symptoms are eggs, cow’s milk, peanuts, soy, wheat, fish, etc.
Survey results suggest that heredity
affects to an ample extent whether or not an individual will develop asthma,
the severity of the person’s asthma condition, and the impact of respiratory
infection and physical activity as triggers of asthma attacks.
Can I avoid triggers?
It is not always possible to avoid your triggers
however reducing exposure to your asthma or allergy triggers may make
your symptoms easier to manage.
Trying to avoid triggers isn’t likely to make much
difference to your asthma, but can often place limits on your lifestyle. The
first step is to know what your triggers are so you focus your efforts in the
right area. Your doctor will be able to help you work this out and give you
some helpful advice and tips on how to avoid your triggers.