If you have asthma, your airways are chronically inflamed. When triggered by some internal or external factor, the airways become even more swollen and the muscles around the airways tighten. This makes it difficult for air to move in and out of the lungs. Everyone's asthma triggers are different, so it’s important to know which triggers bother you the most. Asthma triggers can be found indoors and outdoors but can also include physical activity. Below are a few of the most common asthma triggers:

Environmental Asthma Triggers

  • Air pollution
  • Dust mites
  • Mold (indoor and outdoor)
  • Animal dander, saliva and urine
  • Cockroach allergen
  • Smoke from tobacco or burning wood or grass

Seasonal Asthma Triggers

  • Tree, grass and weed pollen
  • Extreme changes in air temperature
  • Ozone alert days, which occur when temperatures pass 90 degrees and winds are less than 10 miles per hour

Exercise-Induced Asthma Triggers

  • Aerobic sports such as soccer, ice hockey and running
  • Exercise or other strenuous physical activities

Asthma Types

The kind of asthma you or your child may have is defined by your asthma triggers.

Download an Asthma Action Plan

Learn why an asthma action plan is important.

Treat Asthma Inflammation

Get more information about asthma control and treating asthma inflammation.

Allergic asthma

occurs when the airway is obstructed or inflamed due to an allergy to such things as pets, dust or pollen. Allergic asthma is the most common form of asthma and can be moderately controlled with medication.

Non-allergic asthma

occurs when the airway is blocked or inflamed due to other triggers including, but not limited to, stress, anxiety, smoke, and viruses.

After figuring out what triggers your asthma or your child’s asthma, you can work on avoiding these triggers. However, because there are times when you can’t avoid triggers, it’s also important to follow the asthma treatment plan your doctor has prescribed. This will help keep your asthma symptoms and inflammation under control.