What Triggers Allergic Reactions?

outdoor allergy triggers

Triggering Factors of Allergies

There are many factors that make allergies and asthma worse, including allergic factors and irritants.  When a person has allergies to pollens, dust, molds, or animals this makes them more sensitive to non-allergic triggers, such as cigarette smoke, chemicals, irritants, paint, odors, colognes, etc.  For that reason it is very important to control your environment to avoid these non-allergic irritants.

Request an appointment today to get your 360 Degree Allergy Profile and learn more about what could be triggering your asthma & allergies.

Triggering factors for nasal allergies or asthma:

Pollens (trees, grasses, or weeds)

a. You cannot live in a plastic bubble, but you can try to limit the amount of pollen and mold that comes into your house from the outside.  Keep your bedroom doors and windows closed at all times and put an air filter in the bedroom (HEPA filter or ultrasonic, whichever you prefer; these can be found at stores such as Costco, Target, Walmart, etc.)

b. Purchase allergen-proof airtight zippered covers for all pillows in the bedroom and for the mattress (Target, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc.)

c. Remove all dust collecting items (toys, models, trophies, etc.) from the bedroom or put them in a closet or storage unit.  Vacuum and dust the bedroom at least four times a week.

d. If possible, hardwood floors or linoleum are preferred in the bedroom.  Area rugs are okay as long as they are vacuumed regularly and aired out or washed frequently.

e. Absolutely no pets should be allowed in the bedroom since they bring in pollen from the outside.

Cats, dogs, birds, etc.

a. The ideal treatment is to have no pets whatsoever, but this is not always possible, so it is mandatory that the pets never go in the patient’s bedroom.  If possible, try to keep the pets outside all the time.

b. If the animal is at another person’s house then the patient should only sleep in a room where the animal has never been and a room that has been cleaned and vacuumed frequently.  Also, make sure the patient has enough medications on hand so that an increase in allergies or asthma can be treated if the symptoms flare up.

Dust mites

Colorado is relatively free of dust mites, but if you have a strong skin test reaction to mites and you have a very humid house, you may have dust mites.  The best way to treat the dust mite problem is to obtain the allergy pillow covers and mattress cover, wash your sheets and mattress cover in very hot water once a week, and keep the relative humidity in your house less than 50%.


Cockroaches are not common in Colorado, but they may be present, and can cause severe allergy and asthma symptoms.  If you have cockroaches, have someone eradicate them.

Indoor mold

Indoor mold can be present in the walls, basement, bathroom, etc.  It is usually a dark brown or black color.  If it is present, try to find the source of any water leakage that might have caused the mold.  Once the source of the leak is stopped, buy mold killer at a hardware store and eradicate all the mold.  If a mold is in a damp basement or crawl space, then get a dehumidifier to dry out the air so the mold does not grow.


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Non-allergic irritants

Tobacco smoke

No one should smoke in the house, in the car, at daycare, etc.  This makes allergies and asthma worse.  We have a smoking cessation program if you need help to quit smoking; just ask us about it.


Strong odors, chemicals, airborne irritants

a.  If possible, do not use a wood burning stove, kerosene heater, open fireplace, or unvented gas stove.

b. Remove from the house any strong sprays, odors, perfumes, cologne, or anything that gives off a strong chemical odor.  Examples: ammonia cleaners, scented candles, potpourri, air fresheners, etc.