Skip to main content
Home » Wellness » Better Breathing 2023 » Know Your Indoor Asthma Triggers
Better Breathing

Know Your Indoor Asthma Triggers

With smog, pollen, and severe weather changes, you might think that you’re more likely to encounter more triggers outdoors than indoors. In fact, the opposite is true. Canadians spend 90 per cent of their time indoors. This, along with changes in how our homes are built, has lead to poor indoor air quality and more triggers in our homes.

Fortunately, a great deal has been learned about asthma triggers that exist inside. By educating yourself about indoor hazards, you’ll discover simple ways to reduce their levels.

Indoor Asthma Triggers

Dust Mites

Dust mites are tiny insects that live in carpet fibres, plush furniture, curtains, mattresses, pillows, and bedding. They eat flakes of skin and reproduce in warm and humid environments. The excretions and body parts of these tiny, spider-like creatures can be a powerful trigger of asthma symptoms.


Not only are they a terrible nuisance, their feces have been shown to trigger symptoms in individuals with asthma. If your home has cockroaches, make sure that food and water are never left where they can get at them. To ensure they leave and never come back, call a professional exterminator.

Pets & Asthma

People with pet allergies are mainly allergic to the animal’s dander (flakes of shed skin), saliva, and urine. If you have asthma and a pet allergy, reducing exposure to pet allergens is the most effective way to help your asthma symptoms. If you have a pet and a pet allergy, consider finding a new loving home for your pet.


Smoke is frequently responsible for the onset of asthma symptoms and attacks and must be avoided. If you have asthma, do not allow any smoking in your home, your car or anywhere else where you spend a lot of time. Tobacco or marijuana smoke, even second-hand or third-hand smoke, can trigger asthma symptoms.

Indoor Moulds

Moulds are fungus that can be found just about anywhere it’s damp and where air flow is minimal, like basements and bathrooms. Their airborne spores can trigger asthma symptoms, but there are many ways to avoid them. The best way is to keep your home dry and clean.

Chemicals & Scented Products

Asthma attacks can be triggered by exposure to chemical fumes (such as laundry detergents, cleaning products, hairspray, scented cosmetics, perfume, paints, etc). At home, chemicals and fragrances are reasonably easy to control. Store toxic chemicals in a sealed container in a shed or garage and try to use all-natural & unscented products.

Viral Infections & Asthma

Viruses can both cause asthma episodes and make you more sensitive to other asthma triggers. Viral triggers include: the rhinovirus (common cold), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and certain flu viruses. Your healthcare team can tell you about ways to avoid viral infections and what to do when you get sick. People with asthma are encouraged to get the flu shot in the Fall.

Outdoor Asthma Triggers


Many people are surprised just how many asthma triggers are within their home. By educating yourself about indoor triggers, you’ll discover simple ways to reduce their levels.
Next article