What Causes An Attack?

It depends on what the person is allergic to or what elements cause the lungs to become inflamed. So many things can cause an attack from the common cold to foods we love to eat. Some things that trigger asthma attacks are:

  • Environmental or chemical irritants like the smell of perfume, soap, paint, aerosol sprays or indoor/outdoor air pollution may bring on asthma attacks.
  • Tobacco smoke is a most common cause of asthma attacks in children and triggers attacks in people of all ages. It is also most significant because it lingers in the air and becomes "second-hand" smoke affecting non-smokers and children.
  • Exercise is good, but even it can trigger an asthma attack. It's called exercise-induced asthma and it is triggered by physical activity like exercise, and -- believe it or not -- laughing, crying, holding your breath, and hyperventilating (breathing fast, quick breaths). Now those who suffer from this type of asthma don't necessarily need to stop exercising, but they do need to work with their doctors to develop a proper treatment plan and may need to limit physical activity.
  • Health related triggers include colds and flu, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), sinusitis, and some medications including aspirin.
  • Other asthma triggers include weather-related occurrences such as exposure to rain, wind, or cold air.