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Can champagne trigger an asthma attack?

Many people may not even realize that the sulfites in champagne, beer and wine could trigger an asthma attack.

People with allergies and asthma are used to having to be fully aware of the different things that could exacerbate their symptoms or bring on an attack. Sometimes, however, those triggers aren't what you would expect, as is the case with English actor Stephen Fry.

Fry, who is also a screenwriter, television presenter and comedian, among other things, told Irish news source Independent.ie that champagne triggers his asthma symptoms, causing what could be a life-threatening attack.

"Champagne can leave a lot of people feeling poorly the next day, but for me it is far more serious because it could trigger a potentially fatal asthma attack," the actor said.

With New Years Eve coming up, this possibility is something that those who suffer from asthma may want to consider. In fact, health and wellness website Health Central contains information that confirms Fry's concerns about champagne.

According to the website, various alcoholic beverages including beer, wine and champagne contain sulfites which can trigger attacks in particularly sensitive asthmatics. Sulfites are common additives present in many foods, drinks and drugs to help prevent them from going bad. They also occur naturally in foods such as asparagus, eggs, garlic and tomatoes.

WebMD data reveals that 5 to 10 percent of people with asthma are allergic to sulfites, and that the combination can be dangerous and even fatal, possibly leading to anaphylactic shock. According to the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, 5 to 10 percent of sulfite reactions in people with asthma lead to death.

If you have asthma, you may want to address the issue of sulfites next time you speak with your doctor. In the meantime, people looking to reduce their symptoms and live more comfortably with the chronic respiratory condition may want to invest in a whole house air purifier, which can remove allergens directly from your home.

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