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Asthma Basics: Triggers

Asthma triggers are those things that make your asthma flare-up or make your asthma symptoms worse. Triggers irritate your airways and cause them to react. Your airways react to triggers by causing the lining of the airways to swell, the muscles around the airways to tighten, and the airways to produce large amounts of very thick mucus.

Triggers can be Allergens or Irritants. Triggers can be anywhere, at work, at school, at home, at airports, at movie theaters, at restaurants, in cars, outdoors, etc ... Everyone's airways are sensitive to different triggers and at different levels. When your airways are exposed to triggers, you (or your asthmatic child) may have asthma symptoms that appear immediately or several hours later.

It is critical to know what trigger's your (or your child's) asthma! Knowing what your (or your child's) triggers are will help you gain better, if not complete, control of your (or your asthmatic child's) asthma. When you know your (or your child's) asthma triggers, it will help you avoid or reduce exposure to those triggers. It will also allow you to take action ahead of time if exposure to some trigger(s) is unavoidable.