Asthma attacks can be caused by factors including smoke, dust, pollen, mold, pet dander and physical activity. Know what to do during an attack.

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5 Most Common Asthma Triggers and Remedies


(JANUARY 2014) Asthma is a disease that causes inflammation of the airways. Usually, a chronic disease that includes symptoms of wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest; people who suffer from asthma generally try to be in an environment that has clean air or a lifestyle that isn’t extremely active to cause shortness of breath. Generally, people who have asthma know how to use an asthma inhaler to help them through an attack.

Below are the five most common asthma triggers and how to cope with them. For asthma sufferers, it is always smart to have a medical ID bracelet with your medical history on you, as well as your inhaler, in case of an attack.

Smoking and Secondhand Smoke

This is a no brainer; smoking is well-documented as a negative activity for your body. This is especially true for people with asthma, as you’re already prone to difficulty breathing. Why add smoke into your fragile lungs? Even if you’re not smoking, secondhand smoke from others can trigger an asthma attack.

The best remedy is to quit smoking and avoid places with secondhand smoke. This is getting easier with laws prohibiting smoking in public and the social stigma of smoking. If you still smoke or have to be in an environment that with smokers, make sure you have your inhaler ready.

Dust and Dust Mites

Even the cleanest home has some level of dust and/or dust mites. As someone with asthma, the worst area to have dust is on your bed or other items that come into close contact with you. Dust and dust mites can trigger your asthma by irritating your lungs and air pathways.

To solve this problem, keep the home as clean as possible. Use Swiffer-type dust pads to pick up loose dust and not spread it around in the air. If you have dusty bedcovers and sheets, wash them in the hottest water possible to kill any mites that might be incubating or crawling around.

If you don’t currently use bedcovers or sheets on your mattress, start. They form a shield between you and the mattress, which usually has the dust mites.

Pollen and Mold

Depending on the season and weather, this may not be applicable to you. However, pollen and mold are high asthma triggers that should be on your mind. In environments that have a lot of plants and flowers, pollen is an almost guaranteed occurrence. The best course of action for this is to keep indoors and reduce your exposure to the pollen.

In addition, mold is an enemy to your home, lungs and health in general. Most of the time mold grows in humid areas of the home like cracks or crevices that are harder to reach. To counteract the growth of mold in your home and reduce your chances of having mold trigger an asthma attack, try to dehumidify your home and fix leaks around your house.


Pet hair can trigger an asthma attack because they can carry outdoor allergens and bugs, or their hair and dander can be the cause. The best remedy for this would be to not have a pet at all. Still, pets are important companions and even family members to people. If you suffer from asthma but can’t possibly let your pet go, you must clean and groom your pet on a regular basis. This will help eliminate any external triggers your pet can carry into the home.

Extreme Physical Activity

Exercise is good for the body; it keeps you fit and healthy. Even if you have asthma, some light aerobic exercise is good to help keep your lungs strong and accustomed to more stress on your breathing. It gets bad when you push your body too far and trigger an asthma attack.

To avoid an attack but still get your exercise, make sure workouts are moderate. You can get a great workout without going overboard.