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Asthma Trigger Control

Article Translations: (Spanish)

What are triggers?

Triggers are things than can make your asthma worse. Know your triggers so you can stay away from them and prevent asthma flare-ups.

Triggers   What to do to avoid your triggers
Smoke: Smoke can make asthma worse
  • Do not allow smoking in your home or car. 
  • If you smoke, ask your provider for ways to help you quit. Call 1-800-Quit-Now (1-800-784-8669). 
Colds: Illnesses can trigger asthma.   
  • Wash your hands often. 
  • Keep your hands away from your face. 
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick. 
  • Get a flu shot every fall. 
Dustmites: These tiny bugs live in bedding and carpeting and are too small to be seen. 
  • Put a dust mite cover on your pillow and mattress. 
  • Wash sheets and blankets in hot water weekly. 
  • Wash stuffed animals frequently. 
  • Vacuum carpet weekly with a HEPA vacuum. 
Mold: Mold can grow in warm, humid areas. 
  • Clean moldy surfaces with hot soapy water. 
  • Fix leaking faucets and pipes. 
  • Use a dehumidifier in a damp basement. 
Animals: Some people are allergic to animals
  • Do not have pets in your home. 
  • If you can't keep the pet out of the home, then keep it out of the bedroom and keep the door closed. 
  • Avoid contact with pets and wash your hands if you pet them. 
Cockroaches and mice: Some people are allergic to droppings from these pests. 
  • Do not leave food or garbage uncovered. 
  • Keep food out of the bedroom. 
  • Call an exterminator.
Exercise: Exercise can trigger asthma. Talk to your provider so you do not avoid exercise. 
  • Take your rescue inhaler before you exercise if directed by your provider. 
  • Warm up and cool down after exercise. 
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a scarf during cold weather. 
Pollen: Trees, grass and weeds can trigger asthma during the spring and during the fall. 
  • Keep your doors and windows shut during allergy season. 
  • Ask your provider about taking allergy medicine. 
Strong odors: These can irritate airways.  
  • Avoid strong odors, cleaning products, perfumes and hairsprays.


Last Reviewed 4/2018

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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