Take control of allergy induced asthma

July 13, 2022
8 minute read

Asthma is a common lung condition, causing breathlessness, coughing and a tightening sensation of the chest. It can also be triggered by exposure to allergens such as pollen, dust mites and animal fur.

There are actions you can take to minimise the impact of allergy induced asthma, from identifying which type of allergy induced asthma you may have, to practical steps in the home to reduce triggers, and extra medications which may ease symptoms.  

Allergy triggers

Many people will have multiple triggers for their asthma and hay fever, including allergies, and they often occur together. An allergic reaction can cause an asthma attack when exposure to the allergen triggers an immune response in the body. That immune response in your body is protecting you from what the body mistakenly determines as a harmful invader. Typical symptoms include a runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy eyes, and symptoms of asthma such as wheezing, breathlessness, coughing and a tight chest.


Different types of pollen allergies such as tree, grass or weed pollen can affect asthma. It is best to be aware of the pollen season so you can reduce your risk of exposure to these as much as possible and help prevent an asthma flare up.

To reduce your risk of hay fever triggering an asthma attack, you can:

  • Carry your inhaler with you every day for instant relief
  • Take preventative medication such as a preventative inhaler to prevent your lungs reacting to pollen
  • Treat your hay fever with antihistamines, nasal sprays and eye drops
  • Take extra care when out and about; especially in the heat or if the pollen count is high
  • Follow our top tips for preventing hay fever without medication.

Find out more useful tips from the NHS on how to treat hay fever.

Dust mites

Dust mites are microscopic insects that live in dust gathered in our homes, at school or in the workplace. Some people are sensitive to dust mites which causes them symptoms such as a runny nose, itchy eyes or sneezing.

The best solution is to keep on top of the dust gathering in your environment. Although it’s impossible to remove all dust and prevent it from gathering, there are several ways you can reduce dust. For example:

  • Use anti-allergy covers on your mattress and bedding
  • Wash bedding, blankets and sheets once a week at 60 degrees to kill dust mites
  • Use a vacuum cleaner with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) which filters and traps dust mites more than normal vacuum cleaners
  • Use an air filter or purifier
  • Keep windows and doors open as much as possible and avoid drying clothes indoors as dust mites thrive and survive in humid environments
  • Use a damp cloth when dusting to collect dust rather than spread it into the air
  • Consider swapping carpets for hard flooring and removing cushions, rugs, and soft toys which gather dust

There may be one or two things which make a difference to your asthma, or you may need to try several different things to see a significant difference.

Animal fur

Many people will react within minutes if they have an allergy to animal fur. The only way to determine if it is a true allergy is for your GP to carry out a skin prick test and/or blood test. Being in a different room or outside to the animal you are allergic to doesn’t always prevent an asthma flare-up because the fur can stay on cushions, carpets, furniture and clothes.

To reduce your risk of animal fur triggering your asthma, try:

  • Washing your pets' bedding and toys regularly
  • Have your pet washed and groomed regularly to reduce the amount of fur they shed
  • Keep your pet outside as much as possible or limit the space they use indoors for example keep them out of your bedroom
  • Use an air filter and a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner
  • Take preventative medication such as an antihistamine

Allergies to animals can develop at any stage in life and you may be allergic to multiple types of animals such as different breeds of dogs and cats.

For more information on asthma causes and treatment, visit the NHS website.

Learn more about Salbutamol inhalers.

Content last reviewed on:
July 13, 2022
Next review date:
July 13, 2024
Further reading
Patient receiving delivery from Phlo

Join our pharmacy revolution

There’s no better time to become part of the Phlo community. Take control of your medication management and join the 1,000s of patients we’ve helped safely manage their medication.

Download the Phlo app and enjoy an enhanced experience!
Link to download app from Apple StoreLink to download app from Google Play store