A chronic respiratory disease, asthma causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways, making breathing difficult for patients. An asthma attack can occur as a result of exposure to certain allergens or common triggers. Also, the triggers can differ for different people, but some of the common triggers for asthma that you need to be aware of are:
- Tobacco smoke: One of the common triggers for asthma is tobacco smoke. Though tobacco smoke is unhealthy for everyone, it is especially harmful to people with asthma. If one has asthma and also has the habit of smoking, they should consider quitting the habit. Both active and passive smoking can trigger an asthma attack, so one should also avoid stepping into smoking zones.
- Dust mites: Every home has dust mites, which are tiny bugs and can also trigger asthma. To prevent asthma attacks, patients should not use down-filled pillows, quilts, or comforters and should remove stuffed animals and clutter from their bedroom. Additionally, the bedding should be washed weekly.
- Outdoor air pollution: Another common trigger for asthma is outdoor air pollution, which can be caused by factories, vehicles, or any other sources. One should pay attention to air quality forecasts and plan their outdoor activities according to when the pollution levels will be low.
- Cockroach allergen: Cockroaches and their droppings are also known to trigger asthma attacks in some patients, so it’s best to get rid of cockroaches by removing as many water and food sources as possible. Cockroaches often eat leftovers and lick off spillings that are not cleaned, but vacuuming or sweeping areas that may attract cockroaches can help keep them at bay. One can use cockroach traps or gels to reduce the number of roaches at home.
- Pets: Furry pets may be common triggers for asthma attacks in some people. If one feels that a pet may be causing asthma attacks, it’s best to find them another home or keep it away from the patient’s room. Also, pets should be bathed every week.
- Mold: Breathing in mold can trigger an asthma attack, and humidity encourages mold to grow. So, patients should get a dehumidifier to keep the humidity levels low. A small tool called a hygrometer can also help check humidity levels and keep them as low as possible. Humidity levels can change over the course of the day, so one should check the level more than once a day.
- Smoke from burning wood or grass: Smoke from burning wood or other plants is made up of harmful gases and small particles. Breathing in too much of such smoke can trigger an asthma attack, so it’s advisable to avoid burning wood at home.
- Other triggers: Infections like flu, cold, and the respiratory syncytial virus can trigger an asthma attack. Additionally, sinus infections, allergies, breathing in chemicals, and acid reflux can trigger these attacks.
One should keep this list of common triggers for asthma handy and learn how to avoid them. Also, patients should always carry their necessary medications.