Same day or next day appointments are frequently available at our main office. Call today!

Allergy Specialist Of Knoxville

Schedule Appt Patient Portal (865) 588–2753

Asthma Triggers and Management

If you have asthma, the airways in your lungs are usually inflamed. During an asthma flare-up these airways get even more swollen, and the muscles around the airways can tighten. This can trigger wheezing, cough, chest tightness and shortness of breath.

Common Asthma Triggers

• Many people with asthma have allergies, which can trigger asthma symptoms. Common allergens include house dust mites, animal dander, molds, pollen and cockroach droppings. Your allergist can identify what you are allergic to and recommend ways to avoid exposure to your triggers.
• Tobacco smoke is an irritant that often aggravates asthma. Your asthma may also be irritated by air pollution, strong odors or fumes.
• Many patients with asthma develop asthma symptoms when exercising. This is called exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB).
Some medications can cause or worsen asthma symptoms. These include aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, and beta-blockers, which are used to treat heart disease, high blood pressure, migraine headaches or glaucoma.
Emotional anxiety and stress may also increase asthma symptoms and trigger an attack. Proper rest, diet and exercise are important for your overall health and can help in managing asthma.
Viral and bacterial infections such as the common cold and sinusitis.
Exposure to cold, dry air or weather changes.
Acid reflux, with or without heartburn.

Asthma Medications
Asthma is a chronic disease, so it requires ongoing management. This includes using proper medications to prevent and control symptoms and to reduce airway inflammation.

There are two general classes of asthma medications, quick-relief and long-term controller medications.

Quick-relief medications are used to provide temporary relief of symptoms and, at times, used before exercise. These rescue medicines are bronchodilators, which help to open up the airways so that more air can flow through. Bronchodilators are primarily short-acting beta-agonists administered by an inhaler or a nebulizer machine. Another type of medicine called an anticholinergic may be used at times.

Long-term controller medications are important for many people with asthma, and are taken on a daily basis to control airway inflammation and treat symptoms in people who have frequent asthma symptoms.

Asthma Management Plan
The better informed you are about your condition, the better control you will have over your asthma symptoms. To assist, you and your allergist will develop a personalized management plan. This plan includes:
• Ways to avoid your asthma triggers.
• Medications to prevent symptoms as well as medications to use for quick relief of flare-ups.
• An asthma action plan to identify when you are doing well and when you need to seek help.
• A partnership between you, your family, your allergist and other healthcare providers.

Together, you and your allergist can work to ensure that asthma interferes with your daily life as little as possible.

References: American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. (2015). Asthma triggers and management. Retrieved from: http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/asthma-library/asthma-triggers-and-management.aspx