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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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Cause & Triggers

Contact the Florida Asthma Program

Although asthma cannot be cured, most people can control asthma so that they have fewer symptoms and can live healthy, active lives. An asthma episode can happen when you are exposed to “asthma triggers” or something to which you are sensitized. Your triggers can be very different from those of someone else with asthma.  You may react to just one trigger or you may find that several things act as triggers. Knowing your triggers and learning how to avoid them are simple actions you can take to control your asthma. Some of the most common triggers are:


  • Indoor mold
  • Pollen
  • Air pollution
  • Animal dander
  • Dust mites
  • Cockroaches


  • Tobacco smoke
  • Wood burning smoke
  • Perfumes and sprays
  • Household chemicals
  • Strong odors


  • Flu and cold virus
  • Vacuum cleaning (use a dust mask)
  • Sulfites in foods
  • Cold air
  • Certain medicines
  • Extreme emotion (crying or laughing)

For more information about trigger identification and ways to reduce your exposure, visit the Environmental Protection Agency.