Most people who have been to an asthma allergy center know the common triggers, such as pet dander, mold, pollen, dust mites, smoke, humidity and chilled air. However, there are many other things that you wouldn’t normally think of that can set off an attack. Asthma inflames and obstructs your breathing passages, making it feel like you’re drowning on dry land. Reading through our list of unexpected triggers can help you identify your personal triggers so you can be better prepared and avoid a potential attack.

Crying or Laughing

A light chuckle isn’t going to cause you trouble, but a heavy guffaw or a crying spell might. When you have a bout of intense laughter or heavy crying, your breathing patterns change and restrict your airflow. Just like exercise, it can set off an asthmatic episode in those with inflamed airways.

Additives in Food

Various flavoring additives, preservatives and colorings in food can cause attacks in some patients, so read labels carefully. If food seems to be setting you off, it could be the sulfites. Other possible triggers are nitrite-rich lunch meats and tartrazine, found in yellow food coloring. Studies show conflicting scientific evidence, but you know your own body best. If you find that something is triggering your attacks, cut it out of your diet and talk to a doctor at our asthma and allergy center.

Reflux Disease

We all know reflux disease causes burning pain in your throat after eating, especially when reclining. Even when you don’t have the feeling of heartburn, GERD and acid reflux can set off an asthma attack by backing acid up into the esophagus and causing the airways to overreact.

Scented Air Fresheners, Incense and Candles

While you might love your scented candle collection, it might not love you back. The fragrances in scented candles and air fresheners, as well as the smoke from incense, can aggravate allergy symptoms in many people. The worst are floral and perfume scents which are the most likely to irritate your airways. Avoid using these items and see a doctor at our asthma allergy center if your symptoms get worse.

While you might think you know the major asthma triggers, there are a few out there that may surprise you. If you find yourself having an attack after any of these triggers, come see someone at our asthma and allergy center to help you get your asthma under control.