Guide To Sneaky Allergy And Asthma Triggers

Allergies and asthma are particularly irritating conditions to deal with on their own, and especially exhausting when they appear together. In either case, however, no one wants to deal with their unpleasant symptoms, which means most will go out of their way to avoid triggers and find relief. High wind days, pollen, and pet dander can make allergy and asthma symptoms the worst and it is important to be aware of these common triggers. There are some allergy and asthma triggers, however, most individuals wouldn't think of and they should be on everyone's watch list. Get the full details on these sneaky triggers now.

Air Conditioning And Furnace Filters


Some of the indoor allergens we experience are dust mites, pollen, and cigarette smoke (include cooking smoke). A filter connected to a furnace or air exchange system can do wonders to help with allergy and asthma attacks. However, if individuals do not clean or replace their filters regularly, their furnace filters and air conditioning could spell disaster for those who suffer from allergies and asthma. Once a filter gets full it has the potential of releasing pollen, dust, and other items back through the ducts. Specialized air conditioner or furnace filters can be purchased whereby they are cleaned by spraying them off with a garden hose.

Air Fresheners


Air fresheners can add to respiratory problems in the home. Everyone wants their home to smell fresh, however, many air fresheners contain volatile organic compounds and some of those products have a component element to them. Some of the volatile organic compounds typically found in conventional home air fresheners are various alcohols, petroleum distillates, limonene, and formaldehyde. Even though there are many commercials out there stating air fresheners boost health and mood, there is no research to back up these claims. It is better for individuals with asthmas and allergies to find natural ways to freshen their home that do not trigger symptoms. Some have had luck just baking cookies in the oven or boiling water on the stove with fragrant items like orange peel or cinnamon sticks sitting in the water.



The United States Food and Drug Administration does not regulate spices in foods and manufacturers are not required to add specific spices to their food labels (which is why many products may simply say they are seasoned or list 'spices' on the nutrition facts). For those who suffer from allergies a particular spice can trigger, it can be tough to determine which foods they can and cannot eat. What most individuals also do not realize is most cosmetics also add spices to their makeup products to change the pigment, so it can be common for women to develop spice allergies over time.



Wine is heralded for the antioxidants it contains and the positive health effects it can have, especially for an individual's heart and brain. If individuals suffer from a wine allergy, however, they may experience shortness of breath, stomach cramps, skin rashes or flushed skin, runny nose, and swollen eyes. Researchers and medical professionals are discovering they cannot attribute allergy and asthma triggers to just one protein or nutrient in wine because wine often has so many different nutrients and minerals, and these often change with the species of grape. Thus, for those who find their symptoms tend to flair after drinking a glass of wine will likely have to give up wine altogether.

Remodeling Or Painting


If individuals have a home improvement project they would like to start, they should consider preventive measures for dealing with their allergies or asthma. Remodeling or painting in the home can stir up dust mites, pollen, and other contaminants in the home, worsening symptoms. Additionally, the chemicals in products individual's use for the remodel such as glues, paints, sealants, and varnishes could have volatile organic compounds in the chemical makeup, which can irritate breathing. There are, thankfully, versions of these products available today that provide low volatile organic compounds. Individuals should look for products certified as asthma & allergy friendly if they want to minimize potential reactions.

Fruit and Christmas Trees


Anytime individuals bring a natural item such as flowers or a plant into their home, they should understand some pollen could be coming in with it. The same idea is connected with fruit and Christmas trees. Since fruit is a natural item it more than likely has pollen attached to it, so it is important for individuals to wash fruit as soon as they bring it home from the grocery store or farmer's market. Christmas trees also produce pollen, so for those who like to enjoy a real tree for the holidays, they should be aware of the potential allergen they are introducing as well. Unfortunately, those with severe allergies may want to choose a fake tree, or at the very least stick to a small tree to minimize its effect on their symptoms.

Laundry Detergent


Due to most laundry detergents and fabric softeners adding high concentrations of fragrances as well as other ingredients, they can cause an allergic reaction or increase symptoms of asthma to include headaches and nasal congestion. This is especially severe in individuals who have skin conditions that can make their skin get irritated quite quickly. Typical irritants within laundry detergent involve different chemicals, and since they sit so close to the skin for several hours each day, individuals can develop an allergy over time. Thankfully, there are a few options for fragrance-free and hypoallergenic laundry detergents!

Pain Relievers


Typically, pain relief medications are for reducing inflammation as well as bringing down fevers, and for the most part, they are quite effective. However, in a minority of individuals, pain relievers can cause allergic reactions such as hives, anaphylaxis, asthma attacks, and swelling. Most cold, allergy, and sinus medications have some form of pain reliever in the ingredient list, so it is important for patients to consult a doctor if they have an allergy or sensitivity to any pain relievers. Sometimes alternative medications are available, and doctors can recommend what is most appropriate for patients to try.



Cockroaches are not only pests that surprise individuals in the middle of the night; they are also an allergy and asthma trigger. The National Pest Management Association states sixty-three percent of homes in America contain cockroach allergens such as saliva, feces, and shedding body parts. These facts are bound to give anyone cause to shiver. If individuals are experiencing a cockroach allergy, they may experience nasal congestion, skin rashes, ear infections, and sinus infections. They should make an effort to keep their kitchen and bathroom clean, as well as seal any leaks in the home that can give cockroaches water.

High Humidity


High humidity by itself is typically not an allergy trigger, though high humidity can result in heat rashes; it is just everything else that depends on high humidity. Most types of plants and mold love high humidity levels because it allows them to grow and to release pollen. Individuals who suffer from a mold allergy should keep a dehumidifier running in their home or areas in which they spend a lot of time. Doing so will keep the mold growth to a minimum, thus lessening allergies. Also, they should keep moisture control products in their closets and dark storage areas to fight against mold growth.

Perfumes And Other Scents


Perfumes and other scents are a cause of allergic reactions or asthma attacks, and individuals are often exposed to these chemicals when they are away from home. A trip to the supermarket, public library, or a school's classroom can lead to major allergy symptoms or an asthma attack because someone is wearing perfume or has used a strongly-scented bath soap, moisturizing lotion, or laundry detergent. If individuals know perfumes and other scents can affect their allergies, they must find an exit from a building quickly, and should begin using their inhaler right away to widen their airways.

Cold And Dry Air


If cold and dry air causes an allergic reaction or respiratory distress for an individual, they must always prepare ahead of time for any potential problems. Individuals can use a humidifier at home to add moisture to the air, and they can prepare for trips outside by making sure to drink plenty of water. Having moist nasal passages and throat tissues can protect individuals from the dangers of dry air. To keep their body hydrated, individuals should avoid drinking too many caffeinated beverages such as tea, coffee, or soft drinks that lead to additional urination. Individuals can keep the air in their home warm by using a humidifier along with keeping the furnace turned on, and if they leave home, they should make sure to cover their mouth and nose with a thick scarf so the air is warmed as they breathe.

Candles Or Incense


While many individuals enjoy burning candles or incense, these items can lead to an allergic reaction or an asthma attack. If individuals know particular fragrances or brands cause breathing problems, they should avoid buying incense or candles that contain these scents or those from that particular brand. However, some studies have revealed any type of candles can cause allergic reactions or breathing distress. As the wick in a candle burns, it creates soot that contains carbon similar to some of the substances created from smoking cigarettes. Rather than using candles or incense in the home to freshen the air, individuals may need to use an air purification machine.

Strong Emotions


Strong emotions from anxiety or fear can lead to asthma attacks or allergic reactions. These reactions are caused by the changes in the body's hormone levels. When experiencing stress or another volatile emotion, the individual's body begins to release more cortisol, which can change the way their body reacts. The individual's nasal passages and the airways in their lungs may begin to narrow, leading to sinus congestion and problems breathing. At the same time, strong emotions will make an individual's body release more histamine, and this chemical will also make it more likely an individual will have an asthma attack or allergic reaction.



Physical activity is important for an individual's health in many ways, but if they have asthma or allergies, it can become dangerous. Strenuous exercise can make an individual's lung's airways narrow, leading to chronic coughing and wheezing. As their nose becomes congested, individuals can also begin to sneeze, making exercise impossible. One of the main reasons for experiencing exercise-induced asthma or allergy symptoms is because individuals may breathe through their mouth. This means the air isn't warmed or moisturized by their body, but individuals can find a physical activity that is less strenuous to perform so they don't have these problems.