Any health issue can be bad – but asthma often seems like frequent deaths. Those who suffer from it have to be careful about situations that could trigger an attack. Some of the most obvious triggers are strenuous exercise, cold air, dust mites, pollen, tobacco smoke, mold, pet dander, etc. Did you know that thunderstorms, aspirin, acid reflux and traffic could also set one off? Of course, you need to identify your own specific triggers to avoid suffering an attack. Or at least be prepared if it hits you!
Thunderstorms and asthma
Research has found that emergency room treatments for asthma symptoms increase dramatically following thunderstorms. This could be because of the high levels of pollen released into the air during this time.
Laughter or crying and asthma
Extreme emotional states like heavy laughter or intense crying can prompt an asthma attack by changing breathing patterns and restricting airflow.This is similar to hyperventilation which, like exercise, can trigger an asthmatic response in people with underlying inflammation. You may not realize you are experiencing an asthma attack, and instead believe you are merely short of breath after a good laugh or cry.
Asthma and stress
You know that feeling you get when you’re overwhelmed by stress and sense your chest tightening? For asthmatics, that shortness of breath could be the beginning of a full-fledged asthma attack, unless they are able to take a step back and relax. Stress also can cause people who don’t have asthma to develop asthma symptoms. Research on the health effects of inner-city conditions found that violent crime is a significant predictor of asthma sensitivity.
Food additives and asthma
Chemicals added as preservatives, food colorings, or flavoring agents have been found to cause asthma attacks in some people. These include sodium bisulfite, potassium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, potassium metabisulfite, and sodium sulfite.
Asthma and aspirin
About 10 percent of adults with asthma are sensitive to and have symptoms when they take aspirin. Their asthma symptoms worsen and they are more likely to have an asthma attack after taking aspirin or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like ibuprofen or naproxen. While not an NSAID, acetaminophen also can play a role in asthma.People who have had acetaminophen early in life seem to have an increased frequency in developing asthma.
Acid reflux, GERD and asthma
Acid reflux and GERD both can cause terrible pain and burning in your throat, particularly when you lie down. They can also can spark an asthma attack even if you don’t experience heartburn.Acid reflux can be hard to diagnose as an asthma trigger and must be treated differently by focusing on relieving the reflux rather than the asthma symptoms.
Asthma and alcohol
Drinking certain alcoholic beverages can worsen asthma symptoms and increase your risk of an asthma attack. It seems to occur mainly with wine and beer, not with hard liquor.This has led people to speculate that the reaction is caused by sulfites in wine and beer, particularly since ethanol in hard liquor has been found to improve asthma by relaxing the airways.
If you’re an asthmatic stuck in rush-hour traffic, have your inhaler at the ready. Pollutants and fumes belched out by cars can cause you to experience an asthma attack. If you live in an urban area, be sure to check air quality forecasts before heading out on your morning commute. You also might consider asking your employer for a shift that will allow you to avoid rush hour.
After more than a decade in the corporate corporate work, I retired from my corporate career at 33 to focus on family. A change in priorities, and a passion for writing inspired me to start working from home and I am now living my dream as a writer and editor. I write content for clients, blog for businesses and edit manuscripts for publishers/authors.
With six blogs of my own and published contributions across the web (The Huffington Post, PTPA, World of Moms, SheKnows), I write to collect smiles and donate to charities.
I share stories about all the things I enjoy in life; parenting, mindful living, conversations, coffee, books, food, music, health, DIY, travel, photography and showing my diabetes who’s boss.