Know Your Triggers

"Triggers" are irritants that, upon being exposed to them, cause asthma symptoms and can lead to an asthma flare. Triggers are not the same for every person with asthma. Something that is a trigger for one person may not be a trigger for another. Some people with asthma may not even realize their triggers until they come in contact with them. Common triggers include:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Wood smoke
  • Pet dander
  • Mold
  • Chemicals/fragrances
  • Flowers/pollen
  • Smog/ozone
  • Dust/dust mites
  • Exercise

And even things we may not associate with asthma such as:

  • Laughing
  • Crying
  • Cold air
  • Humid Air
  • Cockroaches

It is best to identify what triggers seem to make asthma worse for you and avoid them if at all possible. Keep a list in your asthma diary of things that make your asthma worse, places that you go that make your asthma worse, and try to avoid those things.

At Home - You do have control when it comes to eliminating triggers at home. There are steps you can take to keep your home free of things like smoke, dust, pet dander, and mold.

At Work - You can remove plants, remove dust, ask co-workers to avoid strong perfumes and products.

At School - Students can ask their teachers to not keep furry pets and plants in the class room, tell their teachers if they smell "moldy" smells or cigarette smoke while at school. Maine law allows children to carry their quick-relief medications on school grounds.

You may not always be able to avoid your asthma triggers, but with proper medication and responsibly staying away from things that make asthma worse you will keep your asthma attacks to a minimum.

Download an informational card on asthma triggers (PDF)


Asthma Triggers Chart
sample informational card