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"What triggers an asthma attack?"
I just found out that my 11 year old daughter has asthma. We have the inhaler and she knows how to use it, but what should she do to avoid an attack? What causes an attack?
Asthma is caused due to an irritation of the airways that may become worse when you have an attack that is triggered by a specific exposure in the environment that can cause the airways to get blocked with mucus and close causing coughing and wheezing. There are several different triggers, and these triggers vary from person to person. The most common triggers of an asthma attack include tobacco smoke. This can be avoided by families and relatives of children with asthma to try to stop smoking and never smoke around the person with asthma. Dust mites are also a common trigger of asthma. Outdoor air pollution from fuel emissions and waste products, pet dander, mold, infections like the flu, cold weather, heavy physical exercise, food products such as eggs, cow's milk, fish, airborne pollen, tree and grass and weed are also common triggers. If you are concerned about protecting your child from a specific exposure but are unsure of a trigger, you should make an appointment to discuss this with your child's pediatrician. In addition, you should also seek an appointment with an allergist who can perform skin testing with various substances to determine specific compounds and exposures that should be avoided.
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