3 Surprising Asthma Triggers

Don't stop at avoiding smoke and allergens—stay clear of these unexpected asthma triggers and you'll breathe easy.

By Beth Dreher from Reader's Digest Magazine | May 2012

1) Acetaminophen

This painkiller reduces glutathione, a substance that helps ease inflammation in the lungs. Ask your doctor if aspirin or ibuprofen is a good alternative, says Paul V. Williams, MD, of Northwest Asthma & Allergy Center in Washington.

2) Statins

A recent small study led by Safa Nsouli, MD, director of the Danville Asthma and Allergy Clinic in Danville, California, found that asthma patients who used cholesterol-lowering meds had more breathing problems than those who didn’t. But other data suggest statins could improve symptoms. Talk to your doctor if you think your asthma has gotten worse since starting statins.

3) Beer and Wine

They contain sulfites, compounds that have been linked with wheezing and other breathing issues in some people. Instead, consider liquor, which doesn’t have sulfites. 

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