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Asthma Triggers

Asthma can be triggered by a variety of factors, including certain activities and exercise.


One of the most common triggers is exercise. Exercise-induced asthma (EIA) produces symptoms of coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and breathing difficulty during periods of physical exertion.

Exercise-induced asthma can affect people with or without other forms of asthma.


Allergies are a common trigger of asthma attacks. Asthma symptoms that result from allergies is referred to allergic asthma.

Animal Dander

Some people are allergic to the flakes of skin or dried saliva from animals with fur or feathers. For those suffering from pet allergies, the best measure is to keep furred or feather pets out of the home.

If you can't keep the pet outdoors, keep the pet out of your bedroom and other sleeping areas at all times, and keep the door closed. You might also consider removing carpets and furniture covered with cloth from your home. If that is not possible, keep the pet away from fabric-covered furniture and carpets.

Dust Mites

Many people with asthma suffer from dust mite allergies. Dust mites are tiny bugs that are found in every home - in mattresses, pillows, carpets, upholstered furniture, bedcovers, clothes, stuffed toys, and fabric or other fabric-covered items.

Steps you can take to reduce your exposure to dust mites include:


Many people with asthma are allergic to the dried droppings and remains of cockroaches.

Steps you can take to reduce your exposure to cockroaches include:

Indoor Mold

Mold is a common indoor allergen. Steps that can be taken to reduce exposure to indoor mold include:

Pollen and Outdoor Mold

Those with allergies to pollens, such as ragweed, or outdoor mold might consider taking the following steps.


Some irritants in the air can trigger allergy symptoms

Ozone and Air Pollutants

Air with high levels of ozone and particulate matter can trigger asthma.

Tobacco Smoke

Smoke, Strong Odors, and Sprays

Vacuum Cleaning

Other Things That Can Make Asthma Worse

This is not a complete list of all the things that can bring on asthma symptoms. People can have trouble with one or more of these. It is important for you to learn which ones are problems for you. Your doctor can help you identify which things affect your asthma and ways to avoid them.

Reference: The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute