An asthma trigger is anything that causes asthma symptoms or makes asthma symptoms worse. It's important to know what your asthma triggers are so you can avoid them.
The common triggers are:
- Tobacco smoke, including secondhand smoke
- Strong cleaning products, such as bleach
- Strong perfumes or scents
- Air pollution
- Exercise – Exercise can be good for people with asthma even if it is a trigger. But you might need to take an extra dose of your quick-relief inhaler medicine before you exercise. It might help to warm up before doing intense exercise. If you exercise outside on a very cold day, it can also help to wear a loose scarf or mask over your nose and mouth.
- Dust – Mattress and pillow covers can reduce dust mites.
- Mold – Use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to keep indoor air dry. Remove any mold you see.
- Certain animals – These can include dogs, cats, mice, or cockroaches. If you are allergic to animals or insects, try to figure out ways to avoid them.
- Pollen – Stay indoors when possible during pollen season. Keep your windows and doors closed whenever you can.
- Getting sick with a cold or flu – Make sure to get a flu shot every year. Some people also need to get a vaccine to help prevent pneumonia. If you think you might have been exposed to the flu, tell your doctor or nurse. They might prescribe special medicine (called "antiviral" medicine).
Some adults with asthma have worse symptoms if they take aspirin or medicines called NSAIDs. NSAIDs include ibuprofen (sample brand names: Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (sample brand names: Aleve, Naprosyn). Ask your clinician if you need to avoid these medicines.