Common Asthma Triggers

A trigger is something that makes asthma worse or brings on an asthma attack or flare-up.

Triggers are different for everyone and often it’s not just one trigger that sets off an asthma attack but a combination of several triggers around the same time.

Knowing as much as you can about your asthma triggers is important so that you can avoid or reduce your exposure to them. This will make your asthma easier to manage.


Family pets, particularly cats and dogs, can trigger asthma in some people. Learn more

Pollen and Plants

A number of plants are associated with triggering asthma and hay fever symptoms in some people. Learn more

Workplace Triggers

Asthma can be triggered by allergens or other environmental factors in your workplace. Learn more


Colds, flu and COVID-19 are viruses that affect the airways in different ways. They can trigger asthma or cause worsening asthma symptoms. Learn more


Triggers in the air include factory smoke and car exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke and vape emissions, fly sprays, strong perfumes and aerosol cleaning sprays. Learn more


A number of medicines may aggravate asthma in some people. Learn more

Exercise induced Asthma

Physical activity is especially important for people with asthma.

However, for many people with asthma, physical activity can trigger symptoms during or after exercise. Learn more


Some people find that strong or changing emotions can make their asthma worse. Learn more


Changes of temperature can affect people with asthma. Learn more

Home environment

Changes in your home environment or a move to a new house can trigger asthma. Learn more

Follow an Asthma Action Plan

An Asthma Action Plan can help you work out how well you are and what to do if your asthma gets worse or better.

Research shows that people who follow Asthma Action Plans have better control over their asthma.

Useful Resources

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Samoan Grouped

Adult Asthma Action Plans (Samoan)

These plans are self-management action plans for adults to be completed by doctors together with their patients with asthma. Also available in English and Te Reo Māori.

Child Asthma Action Plan Cover

Child Asthma Action Plan

This asthma action plan is for healthcare practitioners to complete alongside parents/caregivers and their child. Available in English, te reo Māori, Samoan and Tongan