One of the most important things you can do to manage your asthma is to work with your healthcare provider to identify and minimize your exposure to your asthma triggers.
Triggers are allergens, irritants, or conditions that cause your asthma symptoms to worsen. It's important to know what triggers your asthma symptoms. Triggers vary from person to person, so you will have to learn which ones are problems for you. While it's impossible to avoid every single asthma trigger, there may be things you can do to help.
Below you'll find tips on dealing with various types of asthma triggers. If you are able to reduce your exposure to some of these triggers but still experience asthma symptoms, take the ASTHMA CONTROL TEST™* and share the results with your healthcare provider.
Select the triggers below to find out more.
Many people find that foods containing the preservative sulfite can trigger their asthma symptoms. If you have been suffering from flare-ups, take a look at what you are eating and drinking. It may take a while to figure out what foods—if any—trigger your asthma symptoms. Tracking the foods you eat and how you react to them can give you valuable information about possible food triggers. Some common culprits are:
Many people with asthma are allergic to the dried droppings and remains of cockroaches.
Dust mites are tiny bugs you cannot see that live in cloth and carpet. Pillows, mattresses, bedding, and rugs or carpet all attract dust and invisible dust mites that can trigger asthma symptoms in individuals allergic to dust mites. To reduce the number of dust mites in your house, try the following:
Moisture causes mold, so getting rid of excess water in your house or workplace may help get rid of mold.
Some people are allergic to the dander (the flakes of skin), dried saliva, or urine that comes from animals with fur or feathers. Even feathers in a pillow can cause allergic reactions or asthma symptoms. Giving up your beloved pet may not be an option, so if your symptoms get worse around your pet, try the following tips:
More than half of the approximately 25.7 million Americans with asthma also have allergies, including allergies to pollen and outdoor mold. If you're one of them, allergy season can be tough on your asthma. And if you have multiple allergies, it also can be long: tree and flower pollens cause problems in early spring, grass pollens strike in late spring and early summer, and weed pollens are active in late summer. While you can't avoid pollen entirely, the following tips may help you weather the seasons:
Be sure to ask your healthcare provider if you need to adjust how you're managing your asthma before allergy season starts.
If you have asthma, you may be very sensitive to strong odors or chemicals in the air.
If you have asthma, it's important not to smoke. Cigarette smoke makes your asthma worse by irritating the airways of your lungs. Smoking may also permanently damage your airways. To reduce your exposure to smoke, try the following:
For many years, it was believed that people with asthma should not or could not exercise. Today, healthcare providers recommend that most people, including people with asthma, get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.
Asthma symptoms triggered by exercise usually occur within a few minutes after stopping exercise, reach a peak of severity about 10 to 15 minutes later, and may continue for up to an hour. Planning and adjusting your exercise carefully—under your healthcare provider's supervision—can help you find an exercise routine that helps minimize asthma symptoms.
Follow the suggestions below to help make a flare-up less likely:
If colds and infections trigger your asthma, try the following:
If you are sensitive to very cold or very hot temperatures, try the following:
Stress is a common asthma trigger, as it can make you feel short of breath and may cause your asthma symptoms to become worse. While you can't avoid stress entirely, you can develop ways to help