Irritants are harmful substances that have the potential to cause damage to different organs, systems, and structures in your body. Exposure to environmental irritants, like fragrances, fumes, and even dust, is harmful to your health, especially if you have asthma. The main reason is that an irritant act as an asthma trigger 1. They aggravate your asthma, can worsen your existing asthma symptoms, and, in some cases, can cause an asthma attack.
Irritants and Asthma
Asthma makes your airways sensitive and hyperresponsive. Thus, when you come into contact with an irritant, your airways make and release inflammatory cells. These inflammatory cells contribute to inflammation throughout your body, including your airways and lungs. When this happens, you begin to experience asthma symptoms.
Limit Your Exposure
Irritants act as an asthma trigger and contribute to worsening asthma symptoms and poorly controlled asthma. However, this does not have to be your experience. The best way to manage your asthma symptoms and control your asthma is to limit your exposure to different irritants.
- Use your inhaled asthma therapies as prescribed
- Open windows if you are in a confined space where there is an odorant or irritant
- Wear a mask when you use cleaning agents