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Your Asthma Trigger Checklist

Friday, March 16, 2012 - 17:13

Triggers are things that can make asthma worse in susceptible people by irritating inflamed airways. Here is a list of common triggers:




Pollens (trees, grasses, ragweed)




Animals and animal products (dander, wool, feathers, down pillows)


Insect parts and dust mites


Note: Dust is a problem only if it has an allergen content to which the person is allergic. Sources of dust in the home include:

Cloth upholstery, carpets, draperies


Brooms and dusters


Dirty air filters on furnaces


Leaky vacuum cleaners


Respiratory Infections

Common cold virus


Flu virus





Household vapors and sprays:

Vapors (Cleaning solvents, paint, paint thinner, shellac, varnish)


Aerosol sprays (Furniture polish, oven cleaners, starch, room deodorizers)


Personal products (Spray deodorant, hair spray, perfumes, colognes)


Industrial dusts, vapors, and fumes:

Wood products (western red cedar)


Flour, cereals, grains, cotton


Metals (Platinum, chromium)


Mold (Hay)


Air Pollution

Air pollution and traffic jams


Parking garages


Smoke-filled rooms


Wood fires, barbecues



Medication may have to be used before exercise


Wheezing sometimes begins during exercise as airways dry out


Exercise indoors on the coldest days



Increase in airway inflammation


Stomach acid and heartburn


Postnasal drainage leading to coughing



Seasonal changes (May trigger allergies due to pollen and mold spores)


Humidity, wind, dryness


Cold air may induce asthma in some people


Weather fronts, especially in the fall



Airway narrowing caused by laughing, crying, or yelling


Fear, frustration, and anger


Hormonal Changes

Symptoms caused by changes in hormonal balance during menstrual cycle or pregnancy


Health Problems

Infections and allergies




Gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD)



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