Skip to main content

reviewed 9/20/2018

TAMING ASTHMA TRIGGERS

LOWER YOUR LIKELIHOOD OF FLARE-UPS

An asthma trigger is something that causes a flare-up of symptoms. Select a trigger for tips on how to control it.

SMOKE

TO CONTROL IT:

  • Ban smoking from your home and car.
  • Avoid burning wood indoors.
  • Don't go outdoors when wildfires are burning nearby.

AIR POLLUTION

TO CONTROL IT:

  • Check air quality daily at stateoftheair.org.
  • Limit time outdoors when the index is high.
  • Avoid exercising near heavily trafficked areas.

PETS

TO CONTROL IT:

  • Avoid pets with fur or feathers.
  • If possible, keep pets outdoors.
  • Keep pets out of bedrooms.

MOLD AND MILDEW

TO CONTROL IT:

  • Fix leaks right away.
  • Clean mildew from tiles and shower.
  • Run exhaust fans or open windows in your kitchen and bathroom.

POLLEN

TO CONTROL IT:

  • Close doors and windows during pollen season.
  • Limit time outdoors when pollen levels are high.
  • Shower and change clothes after coming in from outdoors.

RESPIRATORY INFECTION

TO CONTROL IT:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Avoid sick people.
  • Get a flu shot every year.
  • Ask your doctor about getting a pneumonia shot.

STRONG ODORS

TO CONTROL IT:

  • Use unscented products.
  • Avoid areas with strong smells.
  • Use a fan around strong odors.

STRONG EMOTIONS

TO CONTROL IT:

  • Avoid stressful situations.
  • Learn relaxation exercises and techniques.

COLD AIR/EXTREME HEAT

TO CONTROL IT:

  • Wear a scarf over your mouth and nose when outdoors.
  • Avoid being outside when the weather is too cold or too hot.

EXERCISE

TO CONTROL IT:

  • Ask your doctor about using a rescue inhaler or other quick-relief medications before exercising.
  • Warm up before exercise.
  • Exercise indoors when air quality outside is poor.

DUST MITES OR COCKROACHES

TO CONTROL IT:

  • Encase bedding in dust or mite-proof coverings.
  • Remove carpeting and dust and vacuum twice a week.
  • Keep food in sealed containers.

Learn more by taking our asthma triggers quiz.

Take the quiz.

Sources: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology; American Lung Association

Related stories