Causes of Asthma


Triggers list for Asthma: The list of triggers mentioned in source as possible causal factors for Asthma includes:

  • Various things can exacerbate asthma or trigger asthma attacks:
    • Allergen exposure
    • Pollens
    • House dust mites
    • Molds
    • Cockroaches
    • Viral respiratory infections
    • Common cold
    • Flu
    • Tobacco smoke
    • Certain environmental pollutants
    • Fumes
    • Air pollution
    • Strong odors
    • Exercise
    • Yelling
    • Crying
    • Laughing
    • Stress
    • Weather changes
    • Cold air
    • Aspirin
    • Certain medications
    • Pets
    • Birds
    • Farm animals
    • Car exhaust fumes

Triggers discussion for Asthma: A variety of "triggers" may start or worsen an asthma attack, including

  • exposure to allergens
  • viral respiratory infections
  • airway irritants, such as tobacco smoke and certain environmental pollutants
  • exercise
Exposure of susceptible children to some of these triggers in early childhood, notably allergens such as house dust mites or cockroaches, may cause asthma.1

The respiratory symptoms of asthma, which affects approximately 15 million Americans, are often provoked by airborne allergens (substances that cause an allergic reaction).2

the things that trigger your asthma symptoms:

  • Dogs, cats, or other


Table 1. Asthma Triggers
  • Exercise--running or playing hard--especially in cold weather

  • Upper respiratory infections--colds or flu

  • Laughing or crying hard

  • Allergens
    • Pollens--from trees, plants and grasses, including freshly cut grass
    • Animal dander from pets with fur or feathers
    • Dust and dust mites--in carpeting, pillows and upholstery
    • Cockroach droppings
    • Molds

  • Irritants
    • Cold air
    • Strong smells and chemical sprays, including perfumes, paint and cleaning solutions, chalk dust, lawn and turf treatments
    • Weather changes
    • Cigarette and other tobacco smoke

People with asthma have airways that are very sensitive to certain stimuli. These stimuli or triggers can vary greatly from person to person. Asthmatic episodes or attacks may be caused by any one or any combination of the following:

  • Animal dander

  • Dust mites

  • Pollens from plants

  • Molds

  • Respiratory infections (colds, flu, etc.)

  • Exercise

  • Strong feelings or stress

  • Changes in weather or temperature

  • Cigarette smoke, scented products, strong odors, air pollution, etc.

This is not a complete list of the factors that may cause an episode of asthma, and something that causes one person to have an attack may not bother a different person. It is important to meet with your doctor to identify your asthmatic triggers so that you can develop a plan to manage your asthma and reduce your exposure to triggers. Some asthma attacks occur without any obvious triggers.5

Asthma as a complication: Other conditions that might have Asthma as a complication might be potential underlying causes of Asthma. The list of conditions listing Asthma as a complication in our database includes:

Asthma as a symptom: Conditions listing Asthma as a symptom may also be potential underlying causes of Asthma. The list of conditions listing Asthma as a symptom in our database includes:

Causes of Asthma: medical news summaries: The following medical news items are relevant to causes of Asthma:

Related information for causes of Asthma: Further relevant information on causes of Asthma may be found in the risk factors for Asthma and underlying causes of Asthma.

1. excerpt from Asthma A Concern for Minority Populations, NIAID Fact Sheet: NIAID
2. excerpt from Something in the Air Airborne Allergens: NIAID
3. excerpt from NHLBI - Your Asthma Can Be Controlled: NHLBI
4. excerpt from NHLBI, Asthma & Physical Activity in the School: NHLBI
5. excerpt from ASTHMA: NWHIC

Last revision: April 9, 2003

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