Understanding Asthma

Can Certain Materials Cause Asthma?

Asthma is a disease that's been the target of countless hours of research and millions of dollars in funding in an effort to continue the already-promising progress that's been made towards managing and dealing with this condition. As it stands now, asthma patients can generally enjoy healthy, happy and very active lives as long as they follow some basic management steps as dictated by their medical care providers.


However, some aspects of asthma research remain quite active, and one example of an issue that's ongoing is the question of whether or not certain materials can cause asthma or trigger asthma attacks. The general answer is 'yes,' but the materials that have been identified as agents that cause asthma must be inhaled by a patient for generally long periods of time. In terms of triggering asthma attacks, researchers have been quite successful in identifying and even categorizing them, and some examples of these categories and their descriptions appear below.


There are materials in existence that have been directly tied to the onset of asthma and asthma attacks, and most of these substances exist in the atmosphere and are generally invisible to the naked eye. Below you'll find a few examples:

  • Fungi – Molds that tend to grow indoors
  • Mites – These microscopic creatures are generally found in common household dust.
  • Chemical fumes – Workplace chemicals are most common, especially those that tend to be toxic in nature.
  • Pollen – Pollen is a trigger, especially in those who are prone to allergies. Pollens tend to be more problematic for asthma sufferers during the spring.
  • Animal dander – Dander is not necessarily fur that's shed from dogs and cats. It's a smaller substance that's airborne and inhaled by humans.
  • Tobacco smoke – Tobacco smoke is as harmful a substance as exists, and asthma sufferers can experience an attack either from smoking themselves or from secondhand smoke.

Internal Causes

Other than substances that are generally inhaled, there are causes that can be tied to what occurs inside the person's body. Examples of these triggers include:

  • Strenuous exercise – Asthma sufferers have been known to be active, and sometimes even elite athletes. However, heavy breathing can inflame the lung tissue and trigger an attack.
  • Cold air inhalation – Although the reason is largely unknown, those who spend too much time in cold and dry weather tend to suffer from asthma attacks more so than in other environments.
  • Stress – Stress tends to raise the blood pressure and increase the heart's beats per minute, thereby increasing the breathing rhythm.

As you see, many different materials and other causes of asthma and asthma attacks have been identified. If you learn to recognize these potential problems, it's quite possible that your number and severity of attacks could decrease with time.