Asthma and trigger factors

εκλυτικοί παράγοντες άσθματοςWhat are the trigger factors of asthma?

The trigger factor or stimulus is anything that causes asthma symptoms or aggravate existing asthma symptoms. It is important for each asthmatic to know what factor worsens his asthma. Thus, he can avoid exposure to it and the symptoms can remain stable over time.

What are the most common precipitating stimuli for asthma?

The most common are:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Stress
  • Respiratory infections, eg common cold, acute bronchitis
  • The cleaning products eg bleach.
  • The intense perfume-cosmetics
  • The Air Pollution
  • Various drugs, such Aspirin and other anti-inflammatory and antipyretic drugs.
  • Exercise
  • The very cold and dry air.

Moreover, one can also have other triggers. These are substances in the environment for which the person is allergic. So as a group are called allergic stimuli. An example of this category are the following:

  • Dust mites – These are tiny creatures that are not visible to the naked eye. They live in beds, sofas, carpets and other parts of the house.
  • Fungi – They grow in the undergrounds, especially where there is  humidity in bathrooms and other wet poorly ventilated places.
  • Dogs and Cats – A person can be allergic to animal saliva, urine or coat.
  • Pollen from trees, grass
  • Cockroaches and their products

How can someone get to know about what triggers his asthma?

You may already have noticed what aggravates you. If not, talk to your doctor. He will help you from taking the history and the questions that will make you suspect the main factor that aggravates you. In addition, the doctor may advise you to do some allergy tests. These include blood tests and allergic skin tests. During the skin test, the doctor places a drop of the suspect substance in which the person is allergic, and then make a slight tweak to the skin at the drop. Then, after passing 15-20 minutes, notes the point made about a possible sting swelling or redness.

What should someone do when he finally discovers what are the triggers that cause him asthma?

The best and safest practice is to avoid the stimulus. For example, if cigarette smoke aggravates your symptoms, avoid exposure to smoking and places where smoking is permitted. You can also do the following:

  • Prophylaxis of infections with good  hygiene eg frequent washing of hands.
  • Vaccination against influenza annually.
  • Avoiding exposure to air pollution, eg at times when the traffic is high, it is better to stay home and avoid exercising outdoors when there are high levels of air pollution and dust.
  • During the winter months, when the air is cold and dry, try to cover your mouth and nose with a garment, eg scarf.
  • Avoid using strong perfumes and strong cleaning agents such as bleach.

In case you have allergic triggers, try to avoid substances which you are allergic to:

  • Avoidance of dust mites. Cover pillows and mattresses with special covers found in the  market, which protect against mites. Also move the rugs outside bedrooms.
  • Avoid fungi. Clean every home focus of fungi, especially near bedrooms damp walls. Repair any leaks, remove carpets that have been exposed to moisture and ensure good ventilation in areas of the house.
  • Avoiding animal products. You may need to remove your pet and to thoroughly clean all areas of your home after the animal is removed.
  • Avoiding cockroaches and derivatives. Hygienic conditions, do not leave trash at home and not leave unwashed crockery for a long time. Use various products in the market to destroy the remaining roaches.

What happens if I can’t avoid the triggers for my asthma?

In this case, discuss the problem in detail with your doctor, who can recommend you the right solution. Exercise for example, is a stimulus for asthma, but which one should not avoid because exercise is of great benefit to the overall health of a person. To prevent asthma symptoms during exercise one may need to do the following:

  • Take fast action asthma medicine just before starting to exercise.
  • Suitable warm up before the main physical activity
  • Avoid exercise outdoors when the air is very cold and dry.