When Allergens Trigger Asthma

Published June 20, 2023

Allergens Asthma

If you’re outside working in the yard and suddenly feel a shortness of breath or you start to wheeze when breathing, you could be experiencing allergic asthma, triggered by allergens such as pollen or mold spores in the air you’re breathing.

There are indoor allergens, too, such as dust mites and pet dander, that can trigger an asthmatic response.

Whether you inhale, swallow or touch an allergen, once it enters your body, your immune system goes into attack mode. You may see hives or other irritations develop on your skin; you may have trouble breathing; your nose may feel stuffed because your sinuses have swelled up. When symptoms appear, it’s best to know what triggers your allergic asthma and manage your exposure to those allergens.

What Is Asthma?

Asthma is a long-term disease for which there is no cure, says the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. It causes your airways to become swollen and inflamed, making it hard for you to breathe, but not all asthma is triggered by allergens.

According to the American Lung Association, other triggers for asthma are:

  • Smoke or air pollution
  • Weather conditions, such as extreme heat or cold
  • Exercise
  • Respiratory infections
  • Food or medications
  • Emotions or stress

The distinction about what causes an asthmatic response is important for you to understand so that you can manage the condition. Your primary care provider can help you to distinguish what causes your asthma and provide appropriate guidance on how to manage and/or eliminate the triggers for your condition.

Tips To Minimize Allergen Exposure

With the help of your healthcare provider, once you have eliminated the triggers that cause your asthma symptoms, you should limit your exposure to them by:

  • Avoiding them: Keep your home environment as free as possible of things such as pet dander, dust mites, mold, etc. Wear masks outside to avoid exposure to pollen, etc., and once you’re inside, remove clothing and rinse off. Keep windows closed.
  • Limiting them: If a trigger is suddenly a problem, get away from it as soon as you can.
  • Medicating: Your medical provider can prescribe an emergency medicine, such as an inhaler, to help you manage sudden symptoms.

Subscribe to our monthly emails for Your Well-Being! Get health and wellness tips, hospital news, staff spotlights, career opportunities, our cafe menu and more, sent right to your inbox!

DISCLAIMER: No content on this website, regardless of date, should be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your primary care provider.

Read More Like These