Things that can irritate airways and lead to an asthma flare-up can vary from season to season and as kids get older. Common triggers include:
allergens, including microscopic dust mites present in house dust, carpets, and pillows; animal dander and saliva; pollens and grasses; molds; foods; medications; and cockroaches
viral infections, including the common cold and the flu
irritants, including smoke, air fresheners, aerosols, paint fumes, hair spray, and perfumes
breathing in cold air
Identifying triggers and symptoms can take time and good detective work. But once patterns are discovered, some of the triggers can be avoided through environmental control measures.
Anticipating and Preventing Flare-Ups
Since just listening to a child’s breathing (or asking how the breathing feels) can’t give an accurate sense of what’s happening inside, a better way to measure breathing is needed. One way to measure breathing is by using an instrument called a spirometer, a computerized machine that measures the amount of air inhaled or exhaled and how much time each breath takes.