Common Triggers of Asthma Attacks

Common Triggers of Asthma Attacks

If you suffer from asthma, then you know how much it can interfere with your daily activities. Asthma is a respiratory condition in which a person’s airways become inflamed. Extra mucus is produced and breathing is made difficult. Coughing, chest pain and wheezing are also associated with asthma.

This condition is very common. There are nearly 2 million cases of asthma in any given year in Malaysia. While avoiding an asthma flare-up may not be possible to avoid completely, it is helpful to know some of the most common triggers of attacks.


Allergies are one of the leading causes of asthma attacks. It accounts for about 60% of flare-ups. This can include cat allergies, pollen, ragweed, mold, dust mites, and grasses. It is best to limit exposure to these allergens. Ask a friend if they have a cat before entering their home. Check the weather for pollen count before planning an outdoor activity.


Exercise-induced asthma is another common trigger of asthma attacks.  When you breath, your nose typically warms and humidifies air before it enters your lungs. During exercise, the faster breathing can hinder this process causing colder than usual air to enter your lungs. Try slowly warming up your body before starting any physical activity.


Getting sick certainly never makes life easier.  That holds true for your asthma attacks. The common cold, flu, and respiratory infections can all cause flare-ups of your asthma.

Strong Fragrances

Have you ever walked into a beauty store and felt the intense aroma of multiple perfumes hit your nose at once? This can be uncomfortable for anyone but especially if you suffer from asthma. Candles, strong smelling cleaning products, and smoke can irritate the lungs and have the same effect. 


Cold air is the enemy when you have asthma, so it is better to stay inside during winter months.  That said, summer has its difficulties as well. During the hot summer months, pollution and pollen counts are high.  These are also common asthma triggers.


Strong emotions such as fear and anxiety can lead to changes in breathing.  This can also cause an asthma attack. Try to find a relaxation technique that works best for you.

Cassandra Chong