Pediatric Asthma Triggers Make an Appointment Refer a Patient Ask a Question Reviewed by Ronina A. Covar, MD (June 01, 2017) What Things Make Asthma Worse & How Can You Control Them? Children with asthma may have airways that are chronically inflamed (swollen). Therefore, the airways are sensitive to things that make asthma worse. Things that make asthma worse are often called asthma triggers. These asthma triggers, either singly or together, cause symptoms in children with asthma. Identifying and controlling or treating things that make asthma worse are essential to good asthma management. Things that can make asthma worse include: Irritants Examples of irritants include smoke, aerosol sprays, strong odors, dust and air pollution. Allergies Examples allergens include pollens, mold spores, animal dander from feathered or furry animals, dust mites and cockroaches. Exercise Obesity Infections Sinusitis Weather Emotions Gastroesophageal reflux Nocturnal asthma The things that make asthma worse often vary from child to child. Controlling and/or treating multiple things that make asthma worse are often needed. Avoidance of just one is often not enough. Pediatric Asthma Diagnosis Pediatric Asthma Treatment Clinical Trials For more than 100 years, National Jewish Health has been committed to finding new treatments and cures for diseases. Search our clinical trials.