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Factors That Can Trigger Asthma Attacks

Updated on April 18, 2017

Asthma Meaning

Asthma is a chronic disease that inflames and narrows the bronchial tubes (airways). Approximately 300 million people are affected by asthma all over the world. The word "Asthma" is derived from the Greek word "Panos", which means "Panting". Persons affected by this medical condition experience breathing difficulties. The bronchial tubes of the person affected by asthma are sensitive to many substances. These substances aggravate asthma symptoms. They are classified as allergens and irritants.

Asthma is the most common chronic disease among kids


Allergens that trigger asthma

Pollen, an airborne allergen, is known to trigger asthma in many individuals. Body parts and droppings from dust mites and other insects can make a person asthmatic.

Food allergies trigger asthma in some people. Fish, peanuts, soy, nuts and egg are known to trigger asthma. Molds are fungi that reproduce by releasing tiny spores into the air. They are known to worsen asthma symptoms.

Fish is known to trigger asthma in some people


Pets and Asthma Risk

Pets are adorable. However, pets like dogs, cats and rodents (like hamster) can trigger asthma in people allergic to animal dander and fur. Preservatives (like sulfur dioxide) used in foods are known to worsen asthma symptoms in some individuals. Food dyes (like tartrazine) trigger asthma in some people.


Exposure to latex containing aerosols is known to trigger asthma in people with latex allergy. Formaldehyde is used in manufacturing many products. Exposure to this chemical triggers asthma in some people.

Irritants that trigger asthma

Tobacco smoke is known to trigger asthma in many individuals. Medicines (like beta blockers) trigger asthma in some people. Smog (smoke and fog), which is usually caused by vehicular emission, can trigger asthma. Perfumes and deodorants are known to worsen asthma symptoms in some people.

Fumes from paint trigger asthma in some individuals. Enzymes (like alcalase) which are used in detergents are known to trigger asthma. GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disorder) is also known as acid reflux. This medical condition is known to worsen asthma symptoms.

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Fumes from vehicles trigger asthma in many people. People suffering from respiratory infections (like bronchitis) usually experience asthma attacks. In women, asthma gets worse during PMS. Exercising under cold and dry conditions may trigger asthma. Emotions like excitement, fear, distress, anger and crying are known to aggravate asthma. Some people suffer from asthma attacks during the night.

Asthma can be managed by appropriate medicines and exercises. It is advisable to avoid contact with substances that are known to trigger asthma attacks.

Allergens that trigger asthma
Irritants that trigger asthma
Tobacco smoke
Beta blockers
Dust mites
Fumes from paint


  • Asthma causes are many.
  • Asthma is a chronic disease.
  • Pollen triggers asthma.
  • Pet fur and dander can cause asthma.
  • Tobacco smoke worsens asthma symptoms.

What people need to know is that asthma isn't a minor 'wheeze-disease'. It kills over five thousand people in America every year, and I could've been one of them.

— Jackie Joyner-Kersee


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