Disease Management

What Causes Asthma Symptoms and Attacks?

There are things in the environment that bring on your asthma symptoms and lead to asthma attacks. Some of the more common things include exercise, allergens, irritants and viral infections. Some people have asthma only when they exercise or have a viral infection. The following lists are examples of things that can bring on asthma symptoms:


  • Animal dander (from the skin, hair, or feathers of animals)
  • Dust Mites (contained in house dust)
  • Cockroaches
  • Pollen from trees and grass
  • Mold (indoor and outdoor)


  • Cigarette smoke
  • Air pollution
  • Cold air or changes in weather
  • Strong odors from painting or cooking
  • Scented products
  • Strong emotional expression (including crying or laughing hard) and stress


  • Medicines such as aspirin and beta blockers
  • Sulfites in food (dried fruit) or beverages (wine)
  • A condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), that causes heartburn and can worsen asthma symptoms, especially at night
  • Irritants or allergens you may be exposed to at your work such as special chemicals or dusts
  • Infections

This is not a complete list of all the things that can bring on asthma symptoms. It is important for you to learn which ones are problems for you. Once you have identified your "triggers" for your asthma symptoms, you will then be able to avoid them.

The above information was obtained from the following Web sites, please visit them for additional information: