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Triggers are things that can irritate your lungs and make your COPD symptoms worse. Avoid these common triggers:

  • Air pollution, smog
  • Second-hand smoke
  • Strong fumes, perfume, scented products
  • Cold air
  • Hot and humid air

How to avoid COPD triggers indoors

Avoid breathing in the fumes from perfume, paints and cleaning products. Try to buy household products that are unscented. When cooking, turn on your kitchen fan, which should be vented outdoors. Avoid smoke from fireplaces or woodstoves. Avoid second-hand smoke anywhere: in homes, in cars, in restaurants.

How to avoid COPD triggers outdoors

If cold air and strong winds bother you, try covering your nose and mouth with a scarf (wrapped loosely) and breathe through your nose. The scarf will help warm the air before it gets to your lungs. On hot humid days, or days of smog, stay indoors in a air-conditioned room.
Things that trigger COPD are often the same things that trigger asthma. In our asthma section, you can read more about triggers and how to avoid them. 

For more information on COPD, see our COPD Handbook