Common Triggers

What triggers allergic asthma?

If you have allergic asthma, certain things called allergens can trigger your asthma symptoms. Dust mites, pet dander, and cockroaches are some of the most common allergic asthma triggers.

Dust mites

Did you know?
Dust mites live in house dust. They are so small that you can only see them with a microscope. You may find them wherever dust gathers—like in your bedding, furniture, or carpeting. Dust mite droppings or body parts can trigger allergic asthma symptoms.
  • Dust mite allergy is common
  • Dust mites eat the skin cells shed by people and animals
  • They only cause harm to people who are allergic to them
See tips to help manage triggers

Pet dander

Did you know?
Pet dander is the dead skin that is shed by pets such as cats and dogs. Pet dander may be anywhere. It easily sticks to surfaces, even walls. When it sticks to the clothes of friends and family with pets, it can be carried into your home.
  • 20% to 30% of people with asthma are triggered by pet dander
  • Pet hair is not an allergen, but it can collect pet dander and other allergens
  • About twice as many people have cat allergies than dog allergies
See tips to help manage triggers


Did you know?
Cockroaches can trigger allergic asthma with their saliva, body parts, and feces. They are usually found in warm, moist hiding places—such as basements and under the kitchen sink. They can be brought in with groceries, cardboard boxes, luggage, and furniture.
  • Between 23% and 60% of people with asthma in urban areas are triggered by cockroaches
  • If you see 1 cockroach in your home, as many as 800 may be hiding close by
  • Their diet includes people-foods, paint, newspapers, and cardboard
See tips to help manage triggers

The good news is, you can take steps to help reduce allergens in your home. You can also try to steer clear of them outside your home. These are necessary and important parts of allergic asthma management. It’s also important to talk to your doctor about getting tested to find out if your asthma is triggered by allergens.

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