Asthma UK community forum

How to identify triggers?

I know there is information on the website about this but I wanted to ask the question anyway as I am really struggling with this - there seems to be no rhyme or reason to my flare ups. Every time I think it's improving I get really wheezy again - last night my boyfriend was kept awake yet again by my constant wheezing/rattling and coughing.

It has been pretty humid here over the last week and I think that's what's triggered this, and I know wine (sadly!) makes things worse also. But I am finding it really difficult to identify what is an actual trigger.

I am on what feels like a cocktail of meds and things don't feel like they're improving considering the increase in meds I am on. I know other people have worse asthma than me and are on more, but I am still just so frustrated!

When I saw the consultant and asked for allergy tests he wasn't that bothered just increased my meds. I might ask the nurse when I see her in Oct. I just thought I was improving and now I feel back to square one.

*whinge over* Thanks for listening!

2 Replies

Hi. I'm sorry you're having such a bad time at the moment and I hope your GP will be able to help you to get more control over your asthma before long.

You are quite right to want to know what sets your asthma off, as avoiding these things where possible is a huge step towards getting control.

Sadly, I think that the best way to identify triggers in the absence of allergy tests is probably time and experience. When your asthma gets worse make a note of anything you've been doing, places you've been to, things in the environment like smoke or pollen and maybe what you've eaten if you think that there might be some connection there. You'll soon see any patterns that exist and then you can experiment with avoiding certain places or activities to see what difference there is.

Also, if you already monitor your peak flow you might notice changes connected to certain places or activities. For example, I found that mine drops if I go into somewhere like the body shop.

I'm sorry I couldn't think of anything that would give you a quick result, and I wish you luck with it.


Annista, thank you for the reply it is very helpful actually!

It is going to be hard to monitor things to that level but I think you're right that I need to. I am trying a sort of exclusion diet at home at the moment and have cut out as many foods with dairy and sulphites in as I can but I haven't really noticed much difference. I guess there are no quick fixes but I have already noticed a few things so there is hope!

Thank you for the sympathy too! :-)


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