Asthma is a chronic (long-term) condition that causes your airways to become narrow and swollen. This makes it harder for air to flow through your airways.
Several factors can cause an asthma attack, but this article will focus on environmental triggers to set off your asthma.
Inhaling allergens increases the restriction of airflow and other asthma symptoms.
Dust mites are very common in humid climates, but they are uncommon at high elevations or in arid regions unless there is a higher amount of moisture indoors, such as if you have a swamp cooler. Mites are often found in dust from bedding, carpet, clothes, mattresses, pillows, soft toys, and upholstered furniture.
Dander, urine, feces, and saliva from cats, dogs, and rodents can cause allergic reactions and trigger asthma.
If you have asthma, you are likely to be sensitive to cockroaches, and if you live in a densely-populated urban area, you are also more likely to be exposed to these pests.
Indoor fungi (molds) are commonplace in areas with high humidity and damp areas of homes, such as basements.
Outdoor fungi such as Alternaria are airborne and can be found almost everywhere regardless of climate and are commonly found in soil, water, and on objects. It can grow on the inner lining of your cheeks, on your eyelids, and in your respiratory tract. Despite it being an outdoor fungus, Alternaria can also grow indoors. Exposure to seasonal spores can be fatal in some cases.
Environmental tobacco smoke
Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke can cause an increase in asthma symptoms, hinder lung function, and more visits to the doctor for anyone who has asthma. If you are a mother and you smoke, your child will be more likely to develop asthma as an infant or during childhood.
Air pollutants of particulate matter ≤10 micrometers – such as nitric oxide, ozone, and sulfur dioxide – can increase inflammation of your airways and make you more likely to need to go to the emergency room or be hospitalized.
Indoor pollution from formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are possible risk factors for asthma and wheezing. Formaldehyde and VOCs can come from paints and finishes, linoleum flooring, synthetic carpet, and other household building or maintenance products.
You can also develop asthma or have more asthma symptoms at work, particularly in manufacturing jobs or in an enclosed area with poor ventilation.