There are several factors that can trigger asthma symptoms. These factors are known as asthma triggers. Everybody has their own set of triggers.

Common asthma triggers include:

  • allergens (substances that trigger allergies by causing an immune response):
    • mould
    • pollen
    • animal dander
    • cockroaches
    • dust mites
  • irritants (substances that irritate the airways):
    • smoking
    • secondhand smoke
    • strong odours, such as paint fumes
    • cold air
    • air pollution
    • humidity
  • food additives (e.g., sulphites)
  • viral infections
  • physical activity
  • stress
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • certain medications (e.g., beta-blockers, ASA (Aspirin®), and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs))

Asthma triggers irritate your airways and cause them to become narrow and inflamed, which makes it difficult to breathe. You can control asthma symptoms and reduce your need for medication by avoiding exposure to common asthma triggers.

Talk to your doctor about ways to identify and avoid your personal asthma triggers.