5 Common Asthma Triggers

Do you often have difficulty breathing? Perhaps you also experience coughing and wheezing?

Asthma is a chronic, lifelong respiratory condition that causes your airways to become inflamed, making it difficult for you to breathe properly. Aside from causing inflammation, asthma can also cause your body to produce excess mucus, which can trigger symptoms such as coughing and wheezing. 

Many things can trigger asthma attacks. Here’s what our specialists at Gulf West Medical Associates believe are the five most common asthma triggers. 

1. Dust and mold 

Many asthma sufferers are sensitive to allergens. Allergens can inflame your airways and trigger mucus production, worsening your asthma.

Limiting dust in the house by removing carpets, cleaning surfaces often, and using air filters are steps you can take to improve your life quality. Mold can be problematic too, but fixing leaks and keeping humidity levels low can help reduce mold.

2. Pet allergies 

If you cough near animals, you may be sensitive to pet dander. The term pet dander refers to material composed of dead skin that animals with fur or feathers shed regularly. 

If you do choose to bring a pet into your home, bathe it regularly and keep your home’s surfaces clean.

3. Fragrances and sprays

There’s a reason why so many companies now have scent-free policies for workplaces: Some people have negative reactions to fragrances, especially if they have to stay in a closed space for several hours. 

Perfumes, colognes, and cleaning products contain chemicals that can irritate your airways and set off an asthma attack.

At home, consider opting for natural, fragrance-free detergents and cleaning products. When you leave your home and risk coming in contact with people who wear cologne or perfumes, carry your fast-acting medication with you.

4. Chronic stress 

In the past, stress was considered the sole cause of asthma attacks. Now, researchers are aware that environmental toxins and allergens also play a role.

However, stress continues to be acknowledged as a trigger for asthma symptoms. As you become anxious or stressed, your immune system triggers certain chemicals that cause inflammation in the airways, leading to an asthma attack. 

When your breathing and coughing worsen, you may experience another stressful episode, trapping you in a vicious circle. If you have a lot going on in your life, learning how to cope with stress may help prevent asthma attacks. 

5. Exercising 

Staying active can be great for your overall health and longevity. However, when you have asthma, exercise can be a bit tricky. 

For asthma sufferers, more isn’t better when it comes to exercise. Aim for 15 to 30 minutes of exercise every day, and don’t push yourself beyond your limits if you begin experiencing shortness of breath.

Where you exercise matters too. If you live in the city, air pollutants may make it more difficult for you to work out outside. 

Learn more about how you can manage your asthma 

Due to the rise of respiratory diseases caused by COVID-19 and the flu, many asthma sufferers may need to be extra careful, as their airways are more prone to becoming inflamed. 

If you suspect you have asthma, or if you need help managing it, call our office at 727-848-0247 or request an appointment online

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