Asthma Triggers

What Are Asthma Triggers?

Asthma triggers can be allergens or things things that may bring on or worsen asthma symptoms. Learn what your asthma triggers are and avoid them when possible.

Common Asthma Triggers to Avoid

  • Smoke 
  • Weather
  • Dust mites 
  • Pets
  • Cockroaches 
  • Mold
  • Pollen 
  • Illness
  • Exercise 
  • Stress
  • Strong odors

For triggers you can’t avoid, learn what to do to prevent asthma symptoms. Talk with your doctor if you have questions about your asthma or triggers.

Ways to Avoid or Control Triggers

  • Avoid all tobacco smoke, wood burning stoves and fireplaces.
  • Keep mattresses and pillows in dust mite-proof covers.
  • Wash sheets, blankets and stuffed toys weekly in hot water.
  • Keep food out of bedrooms and seal all food and trash.
  • Stay inside and keep windows closed when pollen levels are high.
  • Ask your provider about taking asthma medicines before exercising.
  • Avoid perfumes, powders, aerosol sprays and strong cleaning products.
  • Avoid unnecessary physical activity in cold or dry weather.
  • Avoid pets with fur or feathers, if possible. Bathe pets with fur weekly.
  • Fix leaky faucets and pipes and clean moldy areas, including shower curtains.
  • Avoid others with viruses such as colds, flu or respiratory infections.
  • When stressed, try to stay calm, breathe slowly and focus on happy things.

What to Do If You Have Severe Asthma Symptoms

  • Follow your asthma action plan from your health care provider.
  • Use your rescue inhaler as directed by your provider.
  • Stay calm and try to breathe slowly and deeply.
  • Tell someone if you notice increased difficulty while breathing.


  • You have trouble walking or talking
  • Your lips or fingernails are blue

If you have been to the emergency room or admitted to the hospital for asthma symptoms twice in the last year, it is recommended you visit an asthma specialist.   For more information or to set up an appointment St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa, call (813) 870-1995. For an appointment St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital at Mease Countryside, call (727) 725-6298.

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