Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Asthma Triggers

There are several triggers that may irritate the hypersensitive airways in people with asthma and provoke an asthma episode.

Common triggers include:

  1. Irritants such as: 
  • Tobacco smoke 
  • Exercise
  • Weather changes
  • Outdoor pollutants
  • Exposure to indoor chemicals 
  1. Allergens such as: 
  • Dust mites
  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Moulds
  • Cockroach allergen
  • Foods or food additives
  1. Other factors that can trigger episodes and influence asthma severity:
  • Upper respiratory/viral infections 
  • Rhinitis/Sinusitis 
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Sensitivity to aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
  • Topical and systemic beta-blockers
Women and Children
Promoting Asthma Control in Children
Background Information