Asthma: How to identify asthma triggers

Asthma is a long-term (chronic) disease of the respiratory system. It causes inflammatory processes in the tubes, through which air enters the lungs (bronchial tubes). Inflammatory processes make bronchial tubes more sensitive to certain pathogens. Such a reaction can lead to impairment of respiratory activity, sudden deterioration of breathing and other symptoms of an asthma attack.

If you avoid contact with pathogens, you can:

  • Prevent an asthma attack.
  • Reduce the frequency and severity of certain seizures.

Contact with some agents of asthma you can not avoid or even do not want. And, nevertheless, you can identify the majority of pathogens that provoke an exacerbation of symptoms:

  • Watching the lungs work (measuring the maximum volumetric expiratory flow rate). The lungs will not work very well when you are among the pathogens of asthma.
  • Having passed allergy tests. If you are allergic, the substances that cause allergies can trigger asthma symptoms.

What are the causative agents of asthma?

The causative agent of asthma is a factor that worsens the performance of the lungs and leads to a sudden deterioration in breathing and other symptoms of an asthma attack. When you are surrounded by pathogens, the risk of a sudden asthma attack increases. A serious asthma attack can lead to an emergency call.

Some pathogens are substances to which you are allergic (allergens). Such pathogens include:



  • Home dust mites.
  • Cockroaches.
  • Wool of domestic animals.
  • Home mold.
  • Pollen.

Some pathogens are not allergens and do not cause an allergic reaction, they cause an exacerbation of symptoms. These include:

  • Cigarette smoke and contaminated air.
  • Infections of the upper respiratory tract, for example, colds, influenza and sinusitis.
  • Physical exercises. In most people, asthma symptoms worsen during exercise.
  • Dry, cold air.
  • Medications, for example, beta-blockers, aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • In adults, hormones, including pregnancy and periods of menstruation. Symptoms may occur before or during these periods.
  • Gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD). Experts still can not come to a consensus on whether GERD worsens asthma symptoms or not. Studies have shown conflicting results as to whether GERD causes asthma or not.

Test your knowledge

More at:  What is asthmatic status? Complete Guide

The causative agent is what can lead to an attack of asthma.

  • Yes – Correct answer
  • No – Wrong answer

The causative agent is a substance that can trigger an attack of asthma. Pathogens are substances that are in the air, for which you are allergic, or other factors, for example, respiratory viruses, physical exercises, cold and dry air.

Why identify asthma triggers?

Knowing the pathogens of asthma, you can determine what causes the worsening of the symptoms. Avoiding contact with asthma triggers, you can:

  • Avoid an attack of asthma.
  • Reduce the duration and severity of asthma attacks.

Test your knowledge

Avoiding contact with asthma triggers helps prevent asthma attack or reduce its duration and severity.

  • Yes – Correct answer
  • No – Wrong answer

Avoiding contact with asthma triggers can help prevent asthma attack or reduce its duration and severity.

How to identify the causative agents of asthma?

  1. Identify possible pathogens of asthma. The causative agent is what can trigger an attack of asthma. Being close to a potential pathogen, carefully monitor your condition. This will help identify what can cause an asthma attack. Write down possible pathogens on a sheet of paper or in a special diary.
  2. Follow the work of the lungs. The causative agent does not always cause an exacerbation of symptoms. Nevertheless, they provoke narrowing of the bronchial tubes, making breathing more difficult. To identify pathogens that do not always cause the manifestation of obvious symptoms, you need to use a pneumotachometer to measure the maximum volumetric expiratory flow rate during the day. Indicators MOSV decreases when the bronchial tubes are narrowed, and accordingly, it occurs when the pathogen is nearby. Use a pneumatic tachometer when you are near a traditional pathogen, which is indicated in the relevant section. Record the results of the pneumotach in the diary.
  3. Take the allergy test. Skin tests or blood tests help in determining the allergy to certain substances. Skin tests are the application to the skin of the back or hands of one or more allergens in small doses. The degree of swelling and redness of the place where the contact with the allergen passed, shows the body’s reaction to the allergen. If MOSV values decrease, when you are near a certain allergen, you need to pass a reaction test for it.
  4. Show records of pathogens to your doctor. After you have identified the pathogens of asthma, you and your doctor can make a program, how to deal with them.

Test your knowledge

More at:  Asthma Attack Treatment

Lung monitoring and allergy tests are two ways to help identify asthma triggers.

  • Yes – Correct answer
  • No – Wrong answer

Lung monitoring and allergy tests are two methods that help determine what triggers an exacerbation of asthma.

Where now?

Now that you have read this information, you can proceed to identify pathogens. Do not forget to report the results to your doctor.

If you have any questions about this information, ask your doctor at the next appointment.

How to identify asthma triggers
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