Are These Hidden Asthma Triggers Sneaking Up On You?

Are These Hidden Asthma Triggers Sneaking Up On You?

Asthma is caused by inflammation of the airways. To keep asthma under control, many people are on medication that includes a nebulizer to keep the inflammation down. If the inflammation gets too bad, then an asthma attack happens.

But what causes the inflammation to get worse? You may be surprised to find common household products that could trigger asthma flare-ups. 

First, we’ll go over the common and uncommon symptoms of asthma. Later, we will go through possible hidden asthma triggers.

What are the Common Symptoms of an Asthma Attack?

Every person is different when it comes to asthma, so you may not have all of these symptoms. Furthermore, you may experience a couple of the symptoms one time and have a completely different set of symptoms the next time. An asthma attack can be mild one time and more severe the next time. Keep in mind that symptoms and reactions vary from person to person. 

The most common symptoms of asthma include:

  • Chest tightness
  • Rapid breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing

What are the Uncommon Symptoms of an Asthma Attack?

While symptoms vary from person to person, sometimes unusual symptoms appear and you may not realize they are signs of an impending asthma attack.

Uncommon symptoms of an asthma attack include:

  • Chronic cough without wheezing
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Nighttime asthma
  • Inability to exercise properly
  • Sighing 
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid breathing

Listen to your body. If you have concerns about any of the asthma symptoms then to talk to your doctor.

Hidden Asthma Triggers

The following are asthma triggers you may not think of or you may not be aware of that are hiding in your home. If your asthma has been giving you trouble lately, take a look at the list and see how many items you use on a regular basis.


According to the Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology, pesticides can trigger asthma attacks by causing chronic inflammation, which can then lead to damage in the lungs. Exposure to these pesticides can flare-up asthma and even trigger an asthma attack. 

To keep pesticides from triggering asthma, stay away from areas where they are sprayed and don’t use them inside your house. Furthermore, wash your fruit and vegetables thoroughly in case they were in contact with pesticides in the field.


Cuddling up next to a fire on a chilly night is warm, cozy, and romantic. However, it could also trigger your asthma. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, the burning wood releases gases, soot, tar, and fine particles that can trigger an asthma attack. Even if your neighbor is burning wood and the smoke seeps into your house then this could trigger your asthma. 

fireplace is a hidden asthma trigger

Try to stay away from burning wood and fires as much as possible if you have asthma. If there is no way to avoid this, make sure you have your portable mesh nebulizer to quickly relieve asthma symptoms.


Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in Tylenol and other non-aspirin pain relievers. A study looked at people who had asthma and took acetaminophen. The researchers found the more acetaminophen people with asthma took, the more often they woke up at night with asthma symptoms. This is because acetaminophen may deplete glutathione, which is an essential antioxidant in the lungs.

Air Fresheners

Air fresheners can worsen asthma symptoms in up to 34 percent of people who have allergies and asthma. Air fresheners container up to 20 different volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can worsen asthma symptoms. Don’t use air fresheners labeled organic because they can still contain VOCs too. 


Love your vinyl records and have a big collection of them in your home? You should know that vinyl is a common household asthma culprit, which was in a study published in the Environmental Health Perspectives. Not only are your records made of vinyl, but so are showering curtains and vinyl flooring. Vinyl contains a chemical called DEHP, which can trigger asthma flare-ups. 

Antibacterial Soap

You probably use antibacterial soap every day to clean your hands, but did you know it contains a synthetic pesticide? Triclosan is a synthetic pesticide that breaks down into harsh chemicals that can trigger asthma attacks. Furthermore, there is evidence triclosan is the reason super germs are resistant to antibiotics, but scientists are still looking into this. To keep your asthma under control, use regular soap, and make sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds at a time.

red wine is a hidden asthma trigger


Researchers conducted a study on the effect of food and drinks on asthmatics. They reported those findings in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The study showed that one-third of the 336 participants believe alcohol made their asthma symptoms worse. Furthermore, red or white wine was especially bad for triggering asthma symptoms. This is because of salicylates, histamines, and preservatives in the alcohol and wine may trigger asthma.

Water Bottles

Do you have old water bottles laying around that you still use? Do those plastic water bottles contain BPA? The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology conducted a study on children from the time they were born until their seventh birthday. In that study, they found 90 percent of the children showed evidence of BPA. Furthermore, the study showed that kids who were exposed to BPA at birth were more likely to develop asthma. Instead of your old plastic water bottle, replace it with a stainless steel water bottle.


Check to see if your sunscreen has octocrylene, benzophenone, and para-aminobenzoic acid. These chemicals can irritate your skin, especially if you have sensitive skin. Some people are allergic to these chemicals in sunscreen. If the allergy is severe enough, it can trigger an asthma attack. Replace your sunscreen with protection that has fewer chemicals, so you still get the protection but are at less risk of having an allergic reaction. 

Protect Yourself

Do a once over in your home to make sure you are protected from these hidden asthma triggers. Make sure to have your mesh nebulizer on hand just in case your symptoms flare-up.

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