Asthma Trigger Versus Asthma Cause

by John Bottrell Health Professional

One thing that I've realized by reading the works of various asthma writers is that there doesn't seem to be a consistent definition of a cause and trigger.
Today I would like to standardize these two terms so that there is no further confusion.

The word "asthma trigger" is not the problem.
A trigger is anything that sparks an asthma attack.
A good example of a trigger is any allergen, such as dust mites, cockroach urinie, molds, fungus.
Other triggers are cold weather, stress, anxiety, or acid reflux.

A trigger is anything that once inhaled irritates your air passages in such a way that the smooth muscles surrounding them spasm and the airways become obstructed, and an asthma attack ensues.

The problem is the word cause.
Sometimes cause is used in the same context as trigger, in that it means you are exposed to something that triggers an asthma attack.
Yet sometimes it's used to describe anything that might precipitate the development of asthma in the first place.

To alieve any further confusion, allow me to standardize these two terms:

Asthma trigger:
Anything that sparks an asthma attack.
To read more about asthma triggers click here.

Asthma cause:
Anything that causes you to get asthma, or to become an asthmatic.
Something that causes you to develop chronic inflammation of your airways.
I will publish a list of what causes asthma in the coming weeks.

So there you have it.
Finally we have concrete definitions for the terms asthma trigger and asthma cause.
No more confusion.
Whenever I mention one of these terms in my shareposts, now you know precisely what I'm referring to.

John Bottrell
Meet Our Writer
John Bottrell

John Bottrell is a registered Respiratory Therapist. He wrote for HealthCentral as a health professional for Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).