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Asthma is a
long-lasting (chronic) disease of the
respiratory system. It causes
inflammation in tubes that carry air to the lungs
(bronchial tubes). The inflammation makes your bronchial tubes likely to
overreact to certain triggers. An overreaction can lead to decreased lung
function, sudden difficulty breathing, and other symptoms of an
If you avoid triggers, you
You may not be able to avoid or even want to avoid all your
asthma triggers. However, you can identify many things that trigger your
An asthma trigger is a
factor that can decrease lung function and lead to sudden difficulty breathing
and other symptoms of an asthma attack. When you are around a trigger, you are
at increased risk for an asthma attack. A severe attack may mean you have to go
to the hospital.
Some triggers are substances you may be allergic
to (allergens). These triggers may include:
Other triggers are not allergens—they can cause asthma
symptoms, but you are not allergic to them. These include:
A trigger is anything that can lead to an asthma
A trigger is anything that can lead to an
asthma attack. A trigger can be irritants in the air, substances to which you
are allergic, or other factors, such as respiratory viruses, exercise, or dry,
Continue to Why?
triggers helps you know what increases your asthma symptoms. If you avoid
triggers, you may be able to:
Avoiding asthma triggers can help you avoid an asthma
attack or reduce its length and severity.
Avoiding asthma triggers can help you avoid an
asthma attack or reduce its length and severity.
Continue to How?
Monitoring your lung function and being tested for
allergies are two ways you can identify asthma triggers.
Monitoring your lung function and being tested
for allergies are two ways you can identify some asthma triggers.
Continue to Where?
Now that you have read this
information, you are ready to start identifying your asthma triggers. Let your
doctor know of any triggers you identify.
have questions about this information, take it with you when you visit your
If you would like more information on asthma, the
following resource is available:
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)
provides information and support for people who have allergies or asthma. The
AAFA has local chapters and support groups. And its Web site has online
resources, such as fact sheets, brochures, and newsletters, both free and for
Return to topic:
Gibson PG, et al. (2003). Gastro-esophageal reflux treatment for asthma in adults and children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (1). Oxford: Update Software.
March 17, 2011
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Lora J. Stewart, MD - Allergy and Immunology
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
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