Triggers A-Z


  

A trigger is anything that irritates the airways and causes the symptoms of asthma. Everyone's asthma is different and you may have several triggers. An important aspect of controlling your asthma is avoiding your triggers. It may be impossible to avoid all of your triggers, but once you've identified them, there are things you can do to help you reduce unnecessary symptoms and better control your asthma.

It can be difficult to identify exactly what triggers your asthma. Sometimes the link is obvious, for example when your symptoms start within minutes of coming into contact with a cat or dog. But some people can have a delayed reaction to an asthma trigger, so some extra detective work may be needed.

Air pollutants

The air we breathe contains lots of different particles that can trigger asthma symptoms.

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Animals

Furry and feathery animals are a common trigger of asthma symptoms.



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Colds and viral infections

Colds and viral infections are very common triggers of asthma. They are also almost impossible to avoid.

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Emotions

Stress or even a fit of laughter can trigger asthma symptoms, as can depression, financial problems, bereavement and extreme work-related stress.



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Exercise

Some people with asthma find that exercise triggers their asthma symptoms. However, exercise is good for everyone, including people with asthma.

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Food

Most people with asthma do not have to follow a special diet. But, in some cases, certain foods, including cow's milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, yeast products, nuts, and some food colourings and preservatives, can make symptoms worse.

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Hormones

Some women find their asthma can be affected around puberty, before their periods, during pregnancy and during menopause.

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House dust mites

Many people with asthma are sensitive to the droppings of house-dust mites. These are tiny creatures that live in the dust that builds up around the house, in carpets, bedding, soft furnishings and soft toys.

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Indoor environment

There are a number of things in your home that might trigger your asthma, and if you know what these are you can take steps to avoid them so that you reduce the risk of having asthma symptoms and asthma attacks.

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Medicines

Some medicines that are used to treat a range of conditions can lead to asthma attacks in a small number of people.

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Moulds & fungi

Moulds release tiny seeds called spores into the air, which can trigger asthma symptoms in some people.

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Pollen

Pollen can trigger asthma symptoms in some people. Pollen is a powder-like substance produced by certain types of trees, grasses, weeds and flowers.

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Salicylates

Salicylate sensitivity is a reaction that causes symptoms similar to those of an allergic reaction, but it is not a true allergy in the strict medical sense.

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Sex

If you're concerned about your asthma symptoms becoming worse during sex, you can control your symptoms as you would with any form of exercise.

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Smog

Smog is a type of air pollution. It is caused by a mixture of gases and tiny particles (like smoke) in the air when it reacts to sunlight.

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Smoke

It can be very difficult if you are exposed to any kind of smoke regularly as we know that cigarette or any tobacco smoke, barbecue, bonfire or chimney smoke can be a trigger for asthma and make asthma symptoms worse.

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Smoking

Smoking is dangerous for everyone, but particularly for people with asthma. It can irritate the lungs and bring on asthma symptoms.

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Weather

Cold air, a sudden change in temperature, windy or hot, humid days and poor air quality are all known triggers for asthma.



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