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Asthma Triggers

People with asthma are usually sensitive to one or more substances that cause them to have symptoms. Common asthma triggers include:

  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Colds and flu
  • Bronchitis
  • Sinus infections
  • Outdoor allergens
  • Tree, grass, weed pollens
  • Mold spores
  • Indoor allergens
  • Molds
  • Animal dander or hair
  • Dust mites
  • Cockroaches
  • Exercise
  • Irritants
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Smoke from wood-burning appliances or fireplaces
  • Strong odors (perfumes, cleaning agents, etc.)
  • Air pollution
  • Occupational dust and vapors
  • Weather
  • Cold air
  • Changes in temperature and humidity
  • Strong emotions
  • Anxiety
  • Crying
  • Yelling
  • Hard laughing
  • Medications
  • Aspirin
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Motrin, Advil)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Food allergens

While not commonly associated with asthma, food allergies have been known to cause symptoms, particularly in young children

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© 2017 American Association for Respiratory Care