Some triggers are substances a person may be allergic to (allergens). Allergens cause the body's natural defenses (immune system) to produce chemicals called immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies. These chemicals bind to allergens, causing inflammation of the bronchial tubes, which carry air to the lungs. The allergen may also cause asthma attacks. These triggers include:
Other triggers can cause asthma symptoms without affecting the body's immune system. These include:
- Cigarette smoke and air pollution.
- Viral infections, such as colds and influenza, and sinus and other upper respiratory infections.
- Exercise. Many people with asthma have symptoms when they exercise.
- Dry, cold air.
- Medicines, such as aspirin or beta-blockers.
- In adults, hormones, including those involved in pregnancy and menstrual periods (just before or during periods).
- Gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD). Some experts debate whether GERD makes asthma worse. Studies have shown conflicting results as to whether GERD triggers asthma.1
|Primary Medical Reviewer||John Pope, MD - Pediatrics|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Lora J. Stewart, MD - Allergy and Immunology|
|Last Revised||March 14, 2013|
Last Revised: March 14, 2013
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