Chronic respiratory disease, or CRD, can have significant effects on a patient’s life. One of the most common CRDs is asthma, a disease diagnosed quite frequently in children. Either environmental or hereditary factors, or a combination of both, can cause asthma to develop. 

Asthma occurs when the airways narrow and the body creates too much mucus. This makes it difficult to breathe, which is often accompanied by wheezing, coughing, or shortness of breath. The severity of an asthma attack can differ from patient to patient, from a minor inconvenience to a potentially life-threatening situation.

What Causes an Asthma Attack?


Strenuous exercise.

Whether we notice it or not, strenuous exercise changes the way we breathe. When completing a demanding physical activity, most people start breathing through their mouths. This means air is getting to your airways and lungs without passing through your nose first. Some patients have exercise-induced asthma, meaning their symptoms are exclusively triggered by exercise.


Airborne irritants, like dust, gases, and smoke.

Similar to seasonal allergies, asthma may be aggravated by environmental substances known as allergens. While regular cleaning may sufficiently manage indoor allergens, patients may have less control over larger problems. These may include the air pollution in the city where you live, or the conditions at your place of employment.



An allergic reaction may trigger an asthma attack, as well as typical allergy symptoms, in patients with allergy-induced asthma. Identifying and avoiding triggers, within reason, is a key step in managing this type of asthma.


Cold weather.

Cold air is dry, an unfortunate fact because dry air irritates our airways. This explains why some people may notice symptoms of their asthma triggered in the winter months. Exercising outside when it’s cold can be especially problematic for people with asthma – you may notice wheezing, coughing, or struggling to catch a breath.

Is There a Cure for Asthma? 

Many asthma patients use inhalers, small devices that allow them to breathe in anti-inflammatory medication during an attack. These substances are able to relax the muscles surrounding the lungs, opening a patient’s airways, and making it easier to breathe. 

There is no cure for asthma, but many patients find that treating their symptoms becomes more manageable over time. Some people who dealt with asthma as a child may find that they outgrow the condition, or experience problems less frequently. Regardless, it’s important for asthma patients to track the progression of their condition as they grow, and note any changes to triggers, symptoms, and effectiveness of treatment. 

Find a Pulmonologist Near You
Call (716) 706-2112

Find a Pulmonologist Near You
Call (716) 706-2112