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What's Triggering Your Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic lung condition that affects your airways. While there is no cure for this common condition, which affects 25 million people of all ages in the US, there are effective ways to manage it. 

Symptoms can range from mild to deadly. Part of managing your asthma is figuring out what triggers your asthma symptoms so that you can avoid them. The experienced team of family doctors at Wasatch Peak Family Practice in Layton, Utah, can help you manage your asthma so that you can enjoy an active life without breathing problems. Learn about the most common allergy triggers and how you can best manage your condition. 

Common asthma symptoms

During an asthma attack, your airways constrict and swell and produce extra mucus. This narrowing of your airways makes it difficult for air to pass through from your nose and mouth to your lungs and back.  

Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, a tightening of your chest, and trouble breathing. What causes or triggers this airway constriction differs from person to person, as do the severity and frequency of symptoms. 

What are common asthma triggers?

An asthma trigger is a substance or activity that makes your asthma symptoms flare up. An asthma trigger can be a food or beverage, something inside your house, something in the air, a medication, an activity, an emotion or feeling, or a weather condition. The key is to figure out your specific triggers so you can either avoid them or be prepared with an inhaler or medication.  Here are some common asthma triggers:

Tobacco smoke

Smoke is unhealthy in a multitude of ways and to every person. If you have asthma, quit smoking. Period. Second-hand smoke, smoke from other people which you inhale, is also dangerous for those with asthma. Make sure your home is a smoke free-environment and ask those around you to refrain from smoking.

Dust mites

These microscopic bugs are a common allergen and asthma trigger. If you’re allergic to these critters, be sure to wash your bedding and vacuum carpets frequently. Also, consider purchasing allergen-proof mattresses and pillows.

Air pollution

Air pollution is also unhealthy for everyone. Pollution caused by cars, factories, and burning wood can be especially harmful to those with asthma. Watch the pollution forecast in your local media to help you decide if you should stay indoors.


Sadly, pets can be a significant source of allergies and asthma. However, it is important to note that it’s not actually the pet itself that causes the asthma attack. It’s the pet dander, urine, and saliva. If you have a pet allergy, you need to keep away from cats and dogs and other animals with fur, but you can have fish, reptiles, or turtles. 


Unfortunately, mold can grow anywhere and during every season. If you’re allergic to mold, you will need to be vigilant about keeping mold out of your house and staying indoors if there’s a high mold count outside.


Exercise is vital for your health. If you find that activity triggers an asthma attack, be prepared with an inhaler to reduce symptoms. Avoid exercising outdoors and when other allergen counts for mold, pollen, and air pollution are high. 


Stress can negatively affect our health and emotional well-being in many ways. For one, it can trigger rapid breathing and other asthma symptoms. Learn stress-reduction strategies such as meditation to help you manage your asthma and emotional health.

Need help managing your asthma? Call Wasatch Peak Family Medicine for an individualized treatment plan to help you breathe easier. Or use our handy online scheduler.

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