5 Uncommon Triggers of Asthma You Must Know

Medically reviewed by Mae Charisse Antalan, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Jan 31

    5 Uncommon Triggers of Asthma You Must Know

    Asthma is a condition that blocks the respiratory airways which causes difficulty in breathing. In severe conditions, asthma can make it difficult for you to perform even regular activities. Common symptoms of this inflammatory disease include difficulty in breathing, coughing, sneezing, weakness, congestion in the chest. The most common and harmful factor that causes asthma is exposure to allergens. Each individual might have different triggers, some of the common triggers include dust, pollen, strong odor, smoke, animal dander, temperature, etc. You might be surprised to know the uncommon triggers of asthma here!

    5 Uncommon triggers of asthma


    Well, it may sound weird but weather-induced asthma is a thing. We all know that pollen grains can trigger asthma symptoms. A thunderstorm is one of the uncommon triggers of asthma which is caused by environmental conditions.

    It has been said that during a thunderstorm, dust can assimilate dampness and erupt into a lot of small particles. These particles are then effectively scattered by the wind.

    The signs and symptoms of thunderstorm asthma are similar to typical asthma symptoms. These symptoms include difficulty in breathing, congestion in the chest, coughing, and wheezing. So if you have thunderstorm asthma, all you need to do is avoid stepping out of your home just after a thunderstorm.

    Laughter-induced asthma

    It’s not a joke. Had you ever thought that being excited about something can trigger asthma? Our emotions have a strong connection with asthma symptoms, and if not controlled, can make your asthma symptoms worse.

    Some of you might be aware of the fact that panic attacks and depression have a connection with asthma, but positive emotions can also show symptoms of asthma. Positive emotions are one of the uncommon triggers of asthma. It occurs because when we are happy or when we laugh out loud; it affects the way we breathe. This change in the breathing pattern can make you cough or make it difficult for you to breathe.

    When you laugh, you breathe less frequently and even take short breaths. These short breaths are taken from the mouth, as opposed to the regular passing through the nose. Because when you breathe through your nose, the air is warm, while when you breathe via the mouth, the air is cold. The cold air when passing through your airways can trigger asthma.

    Also, minute dust-like triggers get filtered when breathing through the nose but they directly enter the airways when breathing through the mouth. The best way to control laughter-induced asthma is by managing your asthma symptoms. Take proper medications and carry your inhaler with you every time you step out of your home to prevent this uncommon asthma trigger.

    Most uncommon asthma trigger: GERD

    Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can trigger your asthma symptoms. If you have severe GERD issues, chances are that the constant backflow or regurgitation of stomach acid into your oesophagus might have injured the airways. This results in difficulty in breathing.

    This recurrent exposure of your airways to the acid can make your lungs inflamed and sensitive, and can trigger asthma symptoms. It is advised to prevent GERD symptoms.

    To control GERD, you must avoid consuming food that causes acid reflux. These foods can be spicy or fried foods, alcohol, chocolate, etc. It is also advised to avoid smoking to prevent this uncommon asthma trigger.

    You can talk to your doctor to learn more tips on how to control your GERD symptoms. You can even take the help of herbals and alternative treatments. Make sure you talk to your doctor before using any herbals and supplements as part of your treatment.

    Another really uncommon asthma trigger: Menstrual cycles

    Periods are one of the most uncommon triggers of asthma. This is because during your menstrual cycles, the levels of progesterone and estrogen in your body go down. This change in hormones can trigger asthma symptoms.

    Though the symptoms may vary from individual to individual, it is important to monitor them. Your hormone levels also change during pregnancy, irregular periods, and menopause.

    If you notice your asthma symptoms getting worse during your periods, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe you medications to control asthma symptoms that you must take before and after your menstrual cycle.


    People with asthma are sensitive to a number of drugs that can trigger asthma attacks. If you are someone with asthma, it is advised to take proper precautions before taking any medications. Monitor your symptoms, take note if certain medications trigger your symptoms.

    Common medications that trigger asthma attacks include aspirin, pain killers like ibuprofen, and some blood pressure-lowering medications like beta-blockers. Stay away from such uncommon triggers of asthma; even though it is rare, medication allergy can be life-threatening.

    Talk to your doctor about the medications that trigger your asthma symptoms.

    Triggers and asthma

    Having asthma means your airways are extremely sensitive. Therefore, it is important for you to know your asthma triggers. You not being aware of the triggers can make the situation worse. As soon as you are exposed to any common or uncommon asthma trigger, you are likely to get uncomfortable. At times, you may even experience an asthma attack. Not all people react the same way to the triggers. Hence, it is important to understand your triggers and avoid exposure as much as possible. If you happen to discover any uncommon triggers of asthma, talk to your doctor.

    Learn more about Asthma here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Mae Charisse Antalan, MD

    General Practitioner

    Written by Nikita Bhalla · Updated Jan 31


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