What are the Triggers of Asthma?
There are a number of ways to bring childhood asthma under control. Learning to recognize and eliminate asthma triggers is the key to developing a good asthma plan. Asthma triggers are sometimes difficult to pin down. For instance a common asthma trigger is pet dander. It is possible to have pet dander in your home even if you do not own a pet.
Asthma triggers are broken down into two groups. Triggers that naturally occur and are commonly allergy related. Man made triggers are generally something that would irritate the lungs, sinuses and airways. Some examples of naturally occurring triggers are pollen, pet dander, and mold. Man made asthma triggers could include air pollution, cigarette smoke and the odor from household cleaning supplies.
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Allergy Related Asthma Triggers
- Mold and there spores are all around us. To grow and thrive
they need a warm, moist and dark environment. When they reproduce they do so through spores. Lots of times these spoors are airborne.
- Pet dander is a contributor to childhood asthma attacks. When an animal scratches they slough off skin. The dead skin is similar to dandruff will eventually settle onto the floor or onto other horizontal surfaces. Dogs, cats, birds and hamsters all contribute dander. Pet urine is another allergen and is present in litter boxes and bird and hamster cages.
- Dust mites are very small and invisible to the naked eye. They are everywhere but mostly live in mattresses, pillows, carpet, fabric covered furniture and stuffed animals.
- Cockroach droppings, insect dropping and body parts are also triggers for asthma.
- Household dust can contain bacteria and could be another asthma attack cause.
Irritant and Environmental Related Asthma Triggers
- Secondhand smoke irritates the lungs and airways of those around the smoker. Removing cigarette of other tobacco smoke is another way to control asthma.
- Air pollution is another culprit. Exhaust from automobiles and industrial pollution can aggravate asthma. When the Air Quality Index falls there are more asthma attacks. Use this helpful link to check the Air Quality Index in your area.
- Using a vacuum cleaner that is need of maintenance will put a lot of household dust into the air.
- Household cleaning supplies that contain harsh chemicals or strong perfumes can also cause asthma attacks.
- Many manufactured items still contain high levels of formaldehyde or other chemicals which can off gas and cause problems. Off gassing chemicals may be present in new furniture, carpet, paneling, and other normal household items.
Other Causes of Asthma Attacks
- Strong emotions such as fear, anger or grief could lead to hyperventilation and cause the onset of another attack.
- Some foods or food additives could start an allergic reaction that could end in an asthma attack.
- Colds and flu or other illnesses may contribute to an asthma attack.
- High humidity in the air, rainy days, or freezing temperatures may also trigger asthma attacks.
- Rigorous physical exercise could play a role in an attack
The important thing to remember is that it is possible to control asthma. With the help of your family doctor start an asthma plan for your child. Learn what your child’s asthma triggers are. Understand when conditions are present that could start an asthma attack and be prepared. Asthma in children can be controlled.
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