Asthma Attack Triggers You Should Be Aware Of

Asthma Attack Triggers You Should Be Aware Of

The bad news is there’s no cure for asthma.

The good news is that asthma is not only treatable, it’s often avoidable if you know what triggers an asthma attack.

At Fivestar Pulmonary Associates in Allen, Texas, our board-certified specialists, Dr. Anthony Nebor and Dr. Asif Najmuddin, care for your lungs and provide the most advanced treatments for acute and chronic asthma. 

We understand the panic that sets in during an asthma attack, and we want to help you avoid that terrifying situation in the future. The first step is to identify what sets off your asthma symptoms. These factors, called triggers, are different for everyone, and you may have more than one. 

Different types of asthma triggers

Living with asthma means you need to be on the constant lookout for things that may trigger your symptoms. There are many potential asthma triggers, but not all of them will affect you.

Learning your unique triggers is the key to preventing serious asthma attacks that lead to severe coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Here are some of the most common asthma triggers.

Allergens

An allergen is any substance you inhale or touch that produces an overreaction in your immune system. These substances typically don’t bother other people, but they incite your body’s defensive mechanism, and your immune system mounts an attack. 

The result is inflammation that constricts your airways and makes it difficult to breathe. Some of the most common allergens that trigger asthma attacks are:

If these triggers cause your flare-ups, you have allergic asthma, the most common type of the disease, affecting about 60% of all asthmatics. 

Health conditions

Upper respiratory infections can set off your asthma symptoms, too. Cold, flu, pneumonia, and sinusitis can trigger an attack. 

Stuff in the air

You can’t see them, but there are countless particles floating in the air you breathe. These invisible substances can irritate the tissues in your airways and lungs, leading to an asthma attack. Topping the list of airborne irritants:

Eliminating as many of these air pollutants as possible can reduce your asthma attacks. Running an air purifier in your home can help, too. Use an app on your smartphone to evaluate the air quality before you go outdoors to avoid high levels of smog and ozone.

Extreme weather

Some people report asthma attacks related to changes in the weather, especially when it’s abrupt. Cold air can trigger asthma symptoms, as can gusts of dry wind. 

Emotions

Not all asthma triggers are external. Strong emotions, such as the following, can also cause your symptoms to erupt:

Pay attention to your emotions just prior to an attack to determine whether they may pay a role in your symptoms.

Exercise

Exercise-induced asthma is common, especially if you run in the cold air. You may not notice your symptoms right away — sometimes they kick in several minutes into your workout. 

Medication

For some, certain medications can trigger an asthma attack. Blood pressure medications called beta blockers can make it difficult to control your asthma, and over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen and aspirin may be problematic as well.

Treatment for asthma

At Fivestar Pulmonary Associates, we help you identify your asthma triggers so you can avoid them, and we develop a customized treatment plan that keeps your asthma symptoms under control. This may include a rescue inhaler for urgent situations, daily inhalants to prevent attacks, and oral medications and/or steroids, if necessary.

Don’t let asthma limit your life, call us today or book an appointment online to find out how the latest treatments can reduce your asthma symptoms.

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