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5 Asthma Triggers You Probably Didn’t Know About

Updated: Sep 6, 2018

Asthma can be extremely disruptive when it comes to your everyday life. Affecting the airways, asthma can cause shortness of breath, discomfort and panic.

While asthma can occur as a result of pollution, intense exercise or respiratory infection, it can also be triggered by a number of lesser-known factors, most of which might surprise you.

Below, five of the lesser-known culprits behind your asthma attacks.

Indoor environment

The conditions in which you live play a significant role when it comes to your health. A build-up of dust in your bedroom, living area or attic can bring on your symptoms, and mold or damp in your bathroom can also have a serious impact. If you’re into DIY, take care when handling and storing paint, glue and varnishes, even if they’re in the garage.

Second-hand smoke

It goes without saying that cigarettes are hazardous to your health, and it’s common knowledge that smoking can cause serious lung damage. According to Asthma UK, around 82% of people suffering with the condition find that tobacco smoke affects their asthma. However, you don’t need to be a smoker to feel the effects - the chemicals in cigarette smoke cause irritation and inflammation of the lungs and airways.


Our emotions can really toy with our asthma symptoms. Perhaps your asthma has previously been triggered by laughing at a friend’s joke (read: misfortune), or by crying while watching an especially sad scene in a movie – you may want to avoid The Light Between Oceans if you have asthma and a tendency to cry. In fact, the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) and the American Thoracic Society (ATS) both reported a link between laughter and asthma, so you don’t necessarily need to be sad to feel the effects.


Did you know that the glass of wine you indulged in last night may have affected your asthma? Probably not. However, according to a survey by Asthma UK, 64% of sufferers claim that certain alcoholic drinks trigger their symptoms. Red wine was the primary offender, with beer and cider not far behind. If you’ve noticed a correlation between certain alcoholic drinks and the worsening of your symptoms, it’s best to avoid them altogether.

Stress and anxiety

Asthma UK has revealed that 69% of asthma sufferers reported that feelings of stress and anxiety can bring on their symptoms. When stressed, our bodies release extra hormones - and we react with tense muscles, faster breathing and a quickened heart rate, all of which can contribute to worsened asthma symptoms. To minimize the impact stress and anxiety can have on your asthma symptoms, make sure you’re managing your condition well – stay healthy, take your meds and speak to your doctor if you’re feeling more stressed than usual.

To stay ahead of your asthma and allergy outbreaks, the Sensio AIR team recommends regular visits to your GP, careful use of medication and the use of an at-home air quality monitor.

The Sensio AIR device will be available to buy soon, but you can manage your symptoms in the meantime by downloading the app. iPhone users can get it here, and Android owners can download it here.

Image courtesy of Jill Wellington, Pixabay

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