asthma trigger is a factor that can lead to sudden
difficulty breathing or other symptoms of asthma (asthma attack).
Some triggers are substances a person may be allergic to (allergens). Allergens cause the body's natural
defenses (immune system) to produce chemicals called
immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These chemicals bind to allergens, causing
inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which carry air
to the lungs. The allergen may also cause asthma attacks. These triggers
- Dust mites.
- Animal dander.
- Cockroach droppings.
Other triggers can cause asthma symptoms without affecting
the body's immune system. These include:
- Cigarette smoke and air
- Viral infections, such as colds and
influenza, and sinus and other
upper respiratory infections.
Many people with asthma have symptoms when they exercise.
- Dry, cold
- Medicines, such as aspirin or beta-blockers.
adults, hormones, including those involved in pregnancy and menstrual periods
(just before or during periods).
- Gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD). Some experts debate whether GERD makes asthma
worse. Studies have shown conflicting results as to whether GERD triggers
Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.
Actionsets are designed to help people take an active role in managing a health condition.
- Asthma: Taking Charge of Your Asthma
Asthma Action Plan
Asthma in Children
Asthma in Teens and Adults
Asthma: Taking Charge of Your Asthma
Gibson PG, et al. (2003). Gastro-esophageal reflux
treatment for asthma in adults and children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (1). Oxford: Update Software.
Other Works Consulted
Guarnieri M, Balmes JR (2014). Outdoor air pollution and asthma. Lancet, 383(9928): 1581–1592. DOI 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60617-6. Accessed May 6, 2014.