Asthma | Recognizing Triggers and Creating an Action Plan

Gerardo Jimenez, Sixteenth Street Certified Asthma Educator
May 30, 2019


The month of May marks the peak time of year for allergies and asthma. Asthma is an inflammation in the airways where oxygen enters and leave the lungs. An asthma attack happens when those airway muscles become constricted, making the passageway narrow and therefore making it difficult for air to reach your lungs, causing the chest area to feel tight or pressured. Although there is no cure for asthma, there are ways one can avoid triggers and be better prepared to treat the next asthma episode when it occurs.

What causes an asthma attack | Avoiding Triggers

The changes in temperature from cold to hot weather can cause asthma to flare up, especially in states like Wisconsin, where plants and trees release pollen during the springtime. Exposure to allergens, such as tree, grass or weed pollen, dust mites, cockroaches, or animal dander, can produce asthma symptoms or even asthma attacks. Outdoor air pollution can trigger an asthma attack. This pollution can come from factories, cars, and other sources. Pay attention to air quality forecasts on radio, television, and the Internet, and check your newspaper to plan your activities for when air pollution levels will be low. Another important element that contributes to asthma is second-hand tobacco smoke. It is essential that parents of children with asthma monitor and see which are the triggers that have the greatest impact on their child.

Asthma Triggers to watch for:

  • Irritants in the air – smoke or chemical fumes and strong odors such as perfume.
  • Tobacco Smoke
  • Exposure to animal dander, dust mites, pollen
  • Strong smells (perfumes and other scents)
  • Changes in weather; cold air
  • Mold
  • Running or playing
  • Crying or laughing

How Sixteenth Street Can Help | Asthma Education, Outreach & Support

Make an appointment today to have your doctor help make an asthma action plan for you that will help you be prepared when symptoms occur. Sixteenth Street bases their care on individualized Asthma Action Plans that guide patients with at home behavior and medication management, along with avoiding exacerbations. Successful asthma treatment relies on medical care, proper use of medication, and patient awareness of how one’s body functions, and response to various stressors. For more information visit:

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