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Asthma

Asthma trigger

04/21/2009

Question:

I haven`t had asthma for the last 10 years, but, recently, it came back. I have to do the inhaler 4 times a day. I know the trigger is in my home, and the only thing I can think of is my new hamster that I bought 2 months ago. Could that be the trigger? Do I have to give my hamster away? Thank you

Answer:

People with allergies and asthma can have their asthma triggered by allergens including allergies to animals. However I would suggest you find out if you are indeed allergic to hamsters, which an allergist should be able to determine for you. You might also see if there are any other environmental changes such as sprays or cleaners that are related to the hamster which might be triggering your asthma. Of course it may also be that your asthma flare is completely unrelated to the hamster as we know some people have asthma as a child; experience no asthma during adolescence but then find their asthma returns during adulthood. You should consider seeing an asthma specialist for further evaluation.

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Response by:

John G Mastronarde, MD John G Mastronarde, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University