Asthma triggers fall into two categories:
- Allergens ("specific")
- Non-allergens - mostly irritants (non-"specific")
Once your bronchial tubes (nose and eyes) become inflamed from an allergic exposure, a re-exposure to the offending allergens will often activate symptoms. These "reactive" bronchial tubes might also respond to other triggers, such as exercise, infections, and other irritants. The following is a simple checklist.
Common Asthma Triggers:
- "Seasonal" pollens.
- Year-round dust mites, molds, pets, and insect parts.
- Foods, such as fish, egg, peanuts, nuts, cow's milk, and soy.
- Additives, such as sulfites.
- Work-related agents, such as latex.
About 80% of children and 50% of adults with asthma also have allergies.
2. Non Allergens - Irritants
- Respiratory infections, such as those caused by viral "colds," bronchitis, and sinusitis.
- Drugs, such as aspirin, other NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), and Beta Blockers (used to treat blood pressure and other heart conditions).
- Tobacco smoke.
- Outdoor factors, such as smog, weather changes, and diesel fumes.
- Indoor factors, such as paint, detergents, deodorants, chemicals, and perfumes.
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disorder).
- Exercise, especially under cold dry conditions.
- Work-related factors, such as chemicals, dusts, gases, and metals.
- Emotional factors, such as laughing, crying, yelling, and distress.
- Hormonal factors, such as in premenstrual syndrome.
For much more about this condition, please visit the Asthma Center.