Health Conditions
What are the most common triggers for asthma

What are the most common triggers for asthma

8 Jan 2019
Rajive Patel
Rajive Patel B.Pharm
Medical Writer

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a lung condition that can affect lung function and cause breathing difficulties. It often starts in childhood, but can also develop in adults.

Common symptoms of asthma are shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing and coughing. The symptoms can sometimes get worse. This is known as an asthma attack.

What are the most common triggers of Asthma?

Common asthma triggers include:

  • Outdoor allergens such as pollen
  • Indoor allergens such as house dust mites, cockroach droppings, pet dander
  • Certain drugs and food additives
  • Poor air quality such as air pollution
  • Irritants, such as tobacco smoke, cigarette smoke, perfume, aerosol sprays, strong odours. certain cleaning products
  • Food allergies
  • Cold air
  • Physical activity such as exercise
  • Respiratory infections such as cold and flu
  • Sinusitis or sinus infections
  • Acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD
  • Medications can trigger asthma symptoms. These include some blood pressure medications (beta blockers, ACE inhibitors) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen
  • Strong emotions can lead to very fast breathing, called hyperventilation, which can also cause an asthma attack
  • Thunderstorms and high humidity

Identifying and avoiding the above can help prevent triggering asthma symptoms.


How are allergies and hay fever related to asthma?

Allergies with asthma is a common problem. Eighty per cent of people with asthma have allergies of some sort. If you have asthma that’s hard to control, see an allergist to find out if and what allergies you have. They may suggest keeping an asthma diary to record your symptoms, medicines, and peak flow readings. You can also write down when and where symptoms happened to help you identify possible triggers.

Hay fever can cause allergic reactions and sadly cause asthma flare ups. For most people pollen is harmless. However, Hay fever can be a risk if you have asthma as your immune system overreacts and produces histamine. The histamine irritates your nose, eyes and throat, giving you typical hay fever symptoms and making your asthma worse.

What are the most effective treatments for asthma?

Sadly, there isn’t a cure for Asthma, but there are lots of effective treatments available to help manage the condition. If you are diagnosed with asthma your healthcare provider will discuss all of these with you and decide which best suits your needs. Treatments include:

  • Using a blue inhaler is one of the most common treatments for Asthma and usually, after just taking a few puffs on the inhaler, it should relieve your symptoms. However, if you are relying on the blue inhaler frequently (more than three times a week), then see your GP to talk about using a preventative inhaler. These contain a steroid, which reduces the inflammation in your lungs. If a reliever and preventer inhaler still aren,t working, then a combination inhaler may be prescribed to help control your asthma
  • Non-steroid tablets relax your airways and reduce your body’s response to allergens. If other treatments aren’t helping to manage your symptoms your GP may prescribe you steroid tablets. These can be given as a treatment when you are suffering from an asthma attack to relieve symptoms
  • If you suffer from severe asthma your doctor may suggest you have injections at regular intervals to help control your symptoms
  • You may have been given an asthma action plan for your child. Ideally, everyone with asthma should have one. An asthma action plan is designed to help you manage your child’s asthma. Asthma action plans are personalized to prevent asthma emergencies and control flare-ups
  • Reducing exposure to irritants such as mould, by cleaning visible mould, throwing away mouldy items, using a dehumidifier or a HEPA (A high-efficiency particulate air filter) and using the fan when taking a shower. Clean mould with mild soap, hot water and a strong brush

Which pharmaceutical companies are most active in the area of asthma?

There are many Pharma companies that are pro-active in the world of Asthma, from research to technological advances with medication management. These include GlaxoSmithKline, Sanofi, Roche & Novartis, Teva, Merck, AstraZeneca and Boehringer Ingelheim.

New treatments for asthma are constantly being researched and developed. Recent advances in injectable biologics and smart medical devices have led to an increase in new ways to treat severe asthma.

We at Now Patient are leading the way in the tele-Pharmacy space, supplying Asthma medication (ordered via our app) to people needing repeat prescriptions.

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