Some triggers are substances a person may be allergic to (Reference allergens Opens New Window). Allergens cause the body's natural defenses (Reference immune system Opens New Window) to produce chemicals called immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These chemicals bind to allergens, causing Reference inflammation Opens New Window of the bronchial tubes, which carry air to the lungs. The allergen may also cause asthma attacks. These triggers include:
- Reference Dust mites Opens New Window.
- Reference Animal dander Opens New Window.
- Cockroach droppings.
Other triggers can cause asthma symptoms without affecting the body's immune system. These include:
- Cigarette smoke and air pollution.
- Viral infections, such as colds and Reference influenza Opens New Window, and sinus and other Reference upper respiratory infections Opens New Window.
- Exercise. Many people with asthma have symptoms when they exercise.
- Dry, cold air.
- Medicines, such as aspirin or beta-blockers.
- In adults, hormones, including those involved in pregnancy and menstrual periods (just before or during periods).
- Reference Gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) Opens New Window. Some experts debate whether GERD makes asthma worse. Studies have shown conflicting results as to whether GERD triggers asthma.Reference 1
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference March 17, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Lora J. Stewart, MD, MPH - Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics