Children's Health and Wellness

Asthma Triggers

What are the triggers that can cause an asthma flare-up?

According to the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and other organizations, triggers for asthma include:

Allergens

  • Pollen

  • Grasses and trees

  • Mold

  • Dust

  • Cockroach droppings

Respiratory infections

  • Colds

  • The flu

  • Sore throat

  • sinus infection

Irritants

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

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

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

  • Weather conditions, including cold or wind

  • Chemical exposure on the job, such as dust, gases, or fumes

Sensitivity to medications

  • Aspirin

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

  • Sulfites used as preservatives in food and beverage

 

Exercise

  • Strenuous physical exercise 

  • Long-term activities, such as long-distance running

Other conditions

  • Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)

  • Overweight

  • Obstructive sleep apnea

Smoke

  • Tobacco smoke, both inhaled and secondhand

  • Smoke from wood-burning stoves and fireplaces

Emotions

  • Anxiety

  • Stress

  • Depression

 

Print Source: Boulet. Asthma-related comorbidites. Expert Review of Respiratory Medicine (2011) 5:3 377-93
Online Source: Asthma Triggers and Management: Tips to Remember, American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunologyhttp://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/asthma-library/asthma-triggers-and-management.aspx
Online Source: Asthma Triggers, American Lung Associationhttp://www.lung.org/lung-disease/asthma/living-with-asthma/take-control-of-your-asthma/asthma-triggers.html
Online Source: The Asthma Center: Education and Research Fundhttp://www.theasthmacenter.org/index.php/faq/should_i_avoid_sulfites_andor_other_preservatives/
Online Editor: Sims, Jane
Online Medical Reviewer: Holloway, Beth, RN, M.Ed.
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically-affiliated clinician
Date Last Reviewed: 6/30/2014
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