Allergens and Asthma

Did you know that allergens are the cause of most indoor and outdoor asthma triggers? You can better manage and control your asthma symptoms by understanding allergens, what they do to your asthma, and ways to limit your exposure.

What Are Allergens?

An allergen is anything you inhale or consume that your body does not recognize and views as foreign or harmful invaders. The source of an allergen is usually a protein or substance. Your immune system works to protect and defend your body against potentially these invaders. It does this by producing immune and inflammatory responses 1. The immune response is responsible for attacking or killing the source of the allergen. When you have asthma, and an allergen triggers your asthma, your immune responses are your asthma symptoms.

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Itching
  • Runny nose

Work with your healthcare provider to determine your asthma triggers. Once you identify your triggers, avoiding them will help you manage your symptoms and condition. You may experience relief by:

  • Avoiding foods that cause sensitive reactions
  • Limiting time outdoors on humid days, especially if pollen levels are high
  • Removing sources of indoor allergens at home, such as carpeting
  • Frequently clean your carpet, curtains, bedding, and any other source of indoor allergens