If you have asthma, an asthma attack can happen when you are exposed lớn “asthma triggers.” Your triggers can be very different from those of someone else with asthma. Know your triggers & learn how lớn avoid them. Watch out for an attack when you can’t avoid the triggers. Some of the most common triggers are:

Tobacco Smoke

Tobacco smoke is unhealthy for everyone, especially people with asthma. If you have asthma and you smoke, quit smoking.

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“Secondhand smoke” is smoke created by a smoker and breathed in by a second person. Secondhand smoke can trigger an asthma attack. Make your home a smoke-free zone. Encourage household members who smoke khổng lồ quit. If you have asthma, people should never smoke near you, in your home, in your car, or wherever you may spend a lot of time.

Dust Mites

Dust mites are microscopic bugs that are in many homes. If you have asthma & are allergic to dust mites, they can trigger an asthma attack. Khổng lồ prevent attacks:

Use allergen-proof mattress & pillowcase covers khổng lồ make a barrier between dust mites & yourself.Don’t use down-filled pillows, quilts, or comforters.Wash your bedding weekly and dry it completely.Vacuum carpets, area rugs, & floors regularly using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter.Keep relative humidity levels in the trang chủ low, around 30- 50%.

Outdoor Air Pollution

Outdoor air pollution can trigger an asthma attack. This pollution can come from many sources, including factories, cars, or wildfire smoke. Wildfire smoke from burning wood or other plants is made up of a set of harmful gases và small particles. Breathing in too much of this smoke can cause an asthma attack.

Pay attention lớn air unique forecasts on radio, television, & the internet and check your newspaper to lớn plan your activities for when air pollution levels will be low.

Pests (e.g., cockroaches, mice)

Cockroaches & other pests are often found where food is eaten and crumbs are left behind. To control pests in your home:

Remove as many water & food sources as you can.Clean dishes, crumbs, và spills right away.Store food in airtight containers.Keep trash in a closed container.At least every 2 to lớn 3 days, vacuum or sweep areas that might attract cockroaches or mice.Keep counters, sinks, tables, và floors clean and miễn phí of clutter.Seal cracks or openings in cabinets, walls, baseboards, và around plumbing.Use pesticide baits and traps in areas away from children & pets, following manufacturers’ instructions.Avoid using sprays and foggers as these can cause asthma attacks.


Furry pets can trigger an asthma attack if you are allergic khổng lồ them. If you think a furry pet may be causing attacks, you may want to find the pet another home. If you can’t or don’t want lớn find a new trang chủ for the pet, decrease your exposure by:

Keeping pets out of bedrooms,Washing furry pets,Using an air cleaner with HEPA filter, and
Using allergen-proof mattress & pillow covers.

People with asthma are not allergic lớn their pet’s fur, so trimming a pet’s fur will not help your asthma.


Breathing in mold can trigger an asthma attack whether or not you are allergic to mold. Indoor mold growth is often found in damp areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, và basements, or in areas where water damage has occurred. There are many types of mold which can be found in any climate. Get rid of mold in your home to help control your attacks.

To reduce mold exposure in your home:

Dry damp or wet items within 24 to lớn 48 hours to lớn prevent mold growth.Fix water leaks, such as leaky plumbing, which let mold grow behind walls và under floors as soon as you can.Replace absorbent materials, such as ceiling tiles & carpet, if mold is present.Use an air conditioner or dehumidifier khổng lồ maintain low indoor humidity.Get a small tool called a hygrometer to check humidity levels and keep them as low as you can—no higher than 50%. Humidity levels change over the course of a day, so kiểm tra the humidity levels more than once a day.Scrub mold off hard surfaces with detergent & water. Dry completely.Empty & clean refrigerator và air conditioner drip pans regularly.Run the bathroom exhaust fan hâm mộ or open the window when showering.

To learn more about mold cleanup in the home after a flood seeHomeowner’s và Renter’s Guide to Mold Cleanup After Disasters

Cleaning và Disinfection

Disinfectants can trigger an asthma attack. People with asthma should try khổng lồ stay away when cleaners or disinfectants are being used and right after their use.Follow these precautions when cleaning or disinfecting places where people with asthma may spend time, such as homes, schools, or workplaces:

Avoid overuse of products. Lớn help limit your exposure khổng lồ asthma triggers, follow a schedule for cleaning và disinfecting khổng lồ prevent overuse of products.Use safer products. Any disinfectant can trigger an asthma attack, but you can take steps khổng lồ reduce the chances of that happening:Clean visibly dirty surfaces before disinfecting.Never set disinfectant products.Choose products for disinfecting that are less likely lớn cause an asthma attack, such as products with hydrogen peroxide (no stronger than 3%) or ethanol (ethyl alcohol). Ensure that products with hydrogen peroxide or ethanol bởi vì not contain other chemicals that can cause an asthma attack such as peroxyacetic acid or peracetic acid.Avoid using bleach (sodium hypochlorite) or quaternary ammonium compounds in enclosed spaces & limit their use.Avoid products with fragrances. The fragrances can trigger asthma attacks.Make sure there is enough air flow (ventilation).Open doors and windows khổng lồ bring in fresh air, if it’s safe to vị so.Improve ventilation by turning on exhaust fans. Exhausting the air (blowing it outside) is the most effective way lớn remove disinfectant vapors.For buildings with heating or cooling systems that have fresh (outdoor) air intakes, turn on the fresh air intake to bring in fresh air.Using a high efficiency filter (MERV 13 or higher) with your heating and cooling system can help keep air clean by removing particles such as smoke, pollen, và traffic pollution from the air. Most air filters will not remove disinfectant vapors, though.Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions & to replace the filter as needed. Some systems cannot accept high efficiency filters. In this case, using the highest MERV rating possible will provide the most effective air cleaning.Use products safely & correctly.Always follow the instructions on the sản phẩm label. Vì chưng not set chemical products together.Wear protective gear such as gloves và goggles.Spray or pour spray products onto a cleaning cloth or paper towel instead of spraying the sản phẩm directly onto the cleaning surface (if the hàng hóa label allows) lớn help limit exposure.Avoid disturbing dust because it can be an asthma trigger.

Other Triggers

Infections linked to influenza (flu), colds, và respiratory syncytial virut (RSV) can trigger an asthma attack. Sinus infections, allergies, pollen, breathing in some chemicals, and acid reflux can also trigger attacks.

Physical exercise; some medicines; bad weather, such as thunderstorms or high humidity; breathing in cold, dry air; & some foods, food additives, & fragrances can also trigger an asthma attack.

Strong emotions can lead to lớn very fast breathing, called hyperventilation, that can also cause an asthma attack.

Bronchial asthma (or asthma) is a lung disease. Your airways get narrow & swollen and are blocked by excess mucus. Medications can treat these symptoms.


Asthma causes bronchospasms, inflammation, thick mucus & constriction in the airways.

What is asthma?

Asthma, also called bronchial asthma, is a disease that affects your lungs. It’s a chronic (ongoing) condition, meaning it doesn’t go away và needs ongoing medical management.

Asthma affects more than 25 million people in the U.S. Currently. This total includes more than 5 million children. Asthma can be life-threatening if you don’t get treatment.

What is an asthma attack?

When you breathe normally, muscles around your airways are relaxed, letting air move easily và quietly. During an asthma attack, three things can happen:

Bronchospasm: The muscles around the airways constrict (tighten). When they tighten, it makes your airways narrow. Air cannot flow freely through constricted airways.Inflammation: The lining of your airways becomes swollen. Swollen airways don’t let as much air in or out of your lungs.Mucus production: During the attack, your toàn thân creates more mucus. This thick mucus clogs airways.

When your airways get tighter, you make a sound called wheezing when you breathe, a noise your airways make when you breathe out. You might also hear an asthma attack called an exacerbation or a flare-up. It’s the term for when your asthma isn’t controlled.

What types of asthma are there?

Asthma is broken down into types based on the cause & the severity of symptoms. Healthcare providers identify asthma as:

Intermittent: This type of asthma comes & goes so you can feel normal in between asthma flares.Persistent: Persistent asthma means you have symptoms much of the time. Symptoms can be mild, moderate or severe. Healthcare providers base asthma severity on how often you have symptoms. They also consider how well you can vày things during an attack.

Asthma has multiple causes:

Non-allergic: Outside factors can cause asthma to lớn flare up. Exercise, stress, illness and weather may cause a flare.

Asthma can also be:

Adult-onset: This type of asthma starts after the age of 18.

In addition, there are these types of asthma:

Exercise-induced asthma: This type is triggered by exercise and is also called exercise-induced bronchospasm.Occupational asthma: This type of asthma happens primarily lớn people who work around irritating substances.

Who can get asthma?

Anyone can develop asthma at any age. People with allergies or people exposed khổng lồ tobacco smoke are more likely to develop asthma. This includes secondhand smoke (exposure lớn someone else who is smoking) and thirdhand smoke (exposure khổng lồ clothing or surfaces in places where some has smoked).

Statistics show that people assigned female at birth tend lớn have asthma more than people assigned male at birth. Asthma affects black people more frequently than other races.

Symptoms và Causes

What causes asthma?

Researchers don’t know why some people have asthma while others don’t. But certain factors present a higher risk:

Allergies: Having allergies can raise your risk of developing asthma.Environmental factors: People can develop asthma after exposure lớn things that irritate the airways. These substances include allergens, toxins, fumes & second- or third-hand smoke. These can be especially harmful to infants & young children whose immune systems haven’t finished developing.Genetics: If your family has a history of asthma or allergic diseases, you have a higher risk of developing the disease.

What are common asthma attack triggers?

You can have an asthma attack if you come in tương tác with substances that irritate you. Healthcare providers gọi these substances “triggers.” Knowing what triggers your asthma makes it easier to lớn avoid asthma attacks.

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For some people, a trigger can bring on an attack right away. For other people, or at other times, an attack may start hours or days later.

Triggers can be different for each person. But some common triggers include:

Air pollution: Many things outside can cause an asthma attack. Air pollution includes factory emissions, car exhaust, wildfire smoke và more.Exercise: For some people, exercising can cause an attack.Mold: Damp places can spawn mold, which can cause problems if you have asthma. You don’t even have lớn be allergic khổng lồ mold khổng lồ have an attack.Pests: Cockroaches, mice and other household pests can cause asthma attacks.Pets: Your pets can cause asthma attacks. If you’re allergic to pet dander (dried skin flakes), breathing in the dander can irritate your airways.Strong chemicals or smells. These things can trigger attacks in some people.Certain occupational exposures. You can be exposed to many things at your job, including cleaning products, dust from flour or wood, or other chemicals. These can all be triggers if you have asthma.

What are the signs và symptoms of asthma?

People with asthma usually have obvious symptoms. These signs và symptoms resemble many respiratory infections:

Chest tightness, pain or pressure.

With asthma, you may not have all of these symptoms with every flare. You can have different symptoms & signs at different times with chronic asthma. Also, symptoms can change between asthma attacks.

Diagnosis and Tests

How bởi healthcare providers diagnose asthma?

Your healthcare provider will reviews your medical history, including information about your parents & siblings. Your provider will also ask you about your symptoms. Your provider will need to lớn know any history of allergies, eczema (a bumpy rash caused by allergies) and other lung diseases.

Your provider may order spirometry. This demo measures airflow through your lungs and is used khổng lồ diagnose and monitor your progress with treatment. Your healthcare provider may order a chest X-ray, blood test or skin test.

Management and Treatment

What asthma treatment options are there?

You have options to lớn help manage your asthma. Your healthcare provider may prescribe medications to lớn control symptoms. These include:

Bronchodilators: These medicines relax the muscles around your airways. The relaxed muscles let the airways move air. They also let mucus move more easily through the airways. These medicines relieve your symptoms when they happen & are used for intermittent và chronic asthma.Anti-inflammatory medicines: These medicines reduce swelling & mucus production in your airways. They make it easier for air to enter & exit your lungs. Your healthcare provider may prescribe them to lớn take every day to control or prevent your symptoms of chronic asthma.Biologic therapies for asthma: These are used for severe asthma when symptoms persist despite proper inhaler therapy.

You can take asthma medicines in several different ways. You may breathe in the medicines using a metered-dose inhaler, nebulizer or another type of asthma inhaler. Your healthcare provider may prescribe oral medications that you swallow.

What is asthma control?

The goal of asthma treatment is to lớn control symptoms. Asthma control means you:

Can vì the things you want to vì chưng at work & home.Have no (or minimal) asthma symptoms.Rarely need to lớn use your reliever medicine (rescue inhaler).Sleep without asthma interrupting your rest.

How vì chưng you monitor asthma symptoms?

You should keep track of your asthma symptom. It’s an important piece of managing the disease. Your healthcare provider may ask lớn use a peak flow (PF) meter. This device measures how fast you can blow air out of your lungs. It can help your provider make adjustments to your medication. It also tells you if your symptoms are getting worse.


How can I prevent an asthma attack?

If your healthcare provider says you have asthma, you’ll need to lớn figure out what triggers an attack. Avoiding the triggers can help you avoid an attack. You can’t prevent yourself from getting asthma, though.

Outlook / Prognosis

What’s the outlook for someone with asthma?

If you have asthma, you can still live a very productive life & participate in sports và other activities. Your healthcare provider can help you manage symptoms, learn your triggers & prevent or manage attacks.

Living With

What is an asthma action plan?

Your healthcare provider will work with you to lớn develop an asthma kích hoạt plan. This plan tells you how & when khổng lồ use your medicines. It also tells you what to vị based on your asthma symptoms & when khổng lồ seek emergency care. Ask your healthcare provider about anything you don’t understand.

What should I vị if I have a severe asthma attack?

If you have a severe asthma attack, you need to get immediate medical care.

The first thing you should vì is use your rescue inhaler. A rescue inhaler uses fast-acting medicines to xuất hiện up your airways. It’s different than a maintenance inhaler, which you use every day. You should use the rescue inhaler when symptoms are bothering you và you can use it more frequently if your flare is severe.

If your rescue inhaler doesn’t help or you don’t have it with you, go khổng lồ the emergency department if you have:

Anxiety or panic.Bluish fingernails, bluish lips (in light-skinned people) or gray or whitish lips or gums (in dark-skinned people).Chest pain or pressure.Coughing that won’t stop or severe wheezing when you breathe.Difficulty talking.Pale, sweaty face.Very quick or rapid breathing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How vì chưng you know if vị or don’t have asthma?

You’ll need khổng lồ see a healthcare provider khổng lồ find out if you have asthma or some other condition. There are other respiratory diseases that make it hard khổng lồ breathe or cause coughing và wheezing.

Can asthma be cured?

No. Asthma can’t be cured, but it can be managed. Children may outgrow asthma as they get older.

Why is asthma worse at night?

Asthma that gets worse at night is sometimes called nighttime asthma or nocturnal asthma. There are no definite reasons that this happens, but there are some educated guesses. These include:

The way you sleep: Sleeping on your back can result in mucus dripping into your throat or acid reflux coming back up from your stomach. Also, sleeping on your back puts pressure on your chest and lungs, which makes breathing more difficult. However, lying face down or on your side can put pressure on your lungs.Triggers in your bedroom và triggers that happen in the evening: You may find your blankets, sheets & pillows have dust mites, mold or pet hair on them. If you’ve been outside in the early evening, you may have brought pollen in with you.Medication side effects: Some drugs that treat asthma, such as steroids và montelukast, can affect your sleep.Air that’s too hot or too cold: Hot air can cause airways khổng lồ narrow when you breathe in. Cold air is an asthma trigger for some people.Lung function changes: Lung function lessens at night as a natural process.Asthma is poorly controlled during the day: Symptoms that aren’t controlled during the day won’t be better at night. It’s important to work with your provider to lớn make sure your asthma symptoms are controlled both day & night. Treating nighttime symptoms is very important. Serious asthma attacks, & sometimes deaths, can happen at night.

What should I know about COVID-19 và asthma?

If you have asthma that is moderate-to-severe, or if your asthma symptoms aren’t well controlled, you’re at greater risk of having to be hospitalized if you get COVID-19. Therefore, you should wear a mask if you go to lớn indoor spaces with other people, get vaccinated & avoid exposure lớn people who have the virus.

A lưu ý from Cleveland Clinic

Many people live fulfilling lives with asthma. Some professional athletes with asthma have mix records in their sports. Your healthcare provider can help you find the best way to manage your asthma. Talk lớn your healthcare provider about how to lớn control your symptoms.

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