In 2019, approximately 262 million people worldwide had asthma, including 25 million people in the U.S. One of the most difficult things about living with asthma is having to constantly be on the lookout for triggers that will cause you to have an asthma attack. Common asthma triggers are all around us, and staying vigilant about avoiding asthma triggers is exhausting.
What is an Asthma Attack?
An asthma attack, also known as an asthma exacerbation, occurs when the airways swell and become inflamed. The surrounding muscles tighten, while the airways themselves begin producing excessive mucus, narrowing the bronchial tubes and impairing the person’s ability to breathe.
Asthma attack symptoms include coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. Asthma attacks are normally treated with a prescribed rescue inhaler, but severe attacks may require other medications or emergency interventions.
Identifying Triggers is Key
Identifying your specific asthma triggers through careful observation and documentation of your asthma attacks is required to adequately avoid your triggers. Your allergist can show you what to document each time you have an asthma attack, so you can pinpoint your triggers. They can then develop a treatment plan that gets down to the root of your asthma issues, reducing the number of attacks and helping you live a more functional life.
The Most Common Asthma Attack Triggers
Over the years, researchers and allergists have noticed specific trends when identifying asthma attack triggers. This aided them in developing the following list of the most common asthma attack triggers:
- Allergies: Pets, Dust, Mold, and Pollen
- Air Pollution
- Cleaning Products
- Acid Reflux
- Physical Exertion/Exercise
- Weather changes
- Strong Fragrances
- Emotional Distress
While some of these triggers make a lot of sense (i.e. smoke is inhaled, so surely it would affect the airways), some are a little less intuitive. For example, you may not realize that bad weather, such as humidity changes, can bring on an asthma attack. Here in central Florida, where we frequently have high humidity, rain, and storms, this unpredictable trigger can become dangerous.
Asthma Treatment in Tampa Bay
No matter what triggers your asthma attacks, the professionals here at Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates of Tampa Bay can recommend the best combination of medical treatments and lifestyle changes to keep asthma attacks away. We can test for allergic triggers. If allergies are the cause of your asthma attacks, we can also develop an allergy treatment plan to lessen those symptoms. Contact us at (813) 971-9743 or online to find out more and schedule your asthma treatment appointment today.