Types of Asthma
You might have been familiar with asthma since an increasing number of people are suffering from it, but do you know there are many different types of asthma? Understanding what type of asthma may help the patients to take more effective actions to prevent or treat asthma symptoms.
This type of asthma usually occurs during one’s childhood. Child-onset asthma happens probably because the child has become sensitized to surrounding allergens. This is most likely due to his genetic conditions. The atopic, the child might have been, is a genetic state of being hypersensitive to the allergens.
Allergens refer to any substances that are taken as alien substances by the body and can trigger immune responses. Allergens vary from individuals, but usually these allergens include fungi, animal proteins, dust mites or other kinds of substances. The cells in the airways are very sensitive to some materials. If children that are atopic are exposed to allergens of certain amounts, they are more likely to have asthmatic responses.
Asthma that people develop at around their 20 years old is called adult-onset asthma. This asthma has more impacts on women than men. But this type of asthma isn’t common as the child-onset asthma.
Common allergens or allergic materials are the triggers of adult-onset asthma, but other particular substances, such as chemicals released by some medications, plastics, metals, wood dust or particles can also cause this asthma. It’s considered that about 50% of this asthma is associated with allergies. But a large portion of this asthma seems to have no links with the exposure to allergens. This asthma that isn’t caused by allergens is non-allergic adult-onset asthma, also called intrinsic asthma.
Among all asthma types, perhaps, cough-induced asthma is the most difficult one to diagnose. To examine this asthma, the doctor must exclude other possibilities, like sinus disease, chronic bronchitis or post nasal drip. People with cough-induced asthma might only have coughing symptoms and don’t experience other symptoms that are present in other types of asthma. The coughing caused by cough-induced asthma can happen at any time, maybe in the daytime, maybe at night. It may wake you up and bother your sleep if it occurs during the night.
From this term, we can see that this type of asthma is triggered by exercises. If you are wheezing, coughing or can hardly breathe between or after your exercises, you probably have exercise-induced asthma. Certainly, your fitness could also be a reason of your hard breath. For instance, if you are not in good fitness, it’s relatively common for you to have short breath after running or exercising for 10 minutes or about. But if you can’t find any reasonable explanations for these symptoms, you should be alert that you may have exercise-induced asthma.
Just like the common symptoms of other types of asthma, people with this asthma also have difficulties in breathing and the air can’t flow into or come out from the lungs as usually since the extra mucus and bronchial tubes are inflamed. People who only suffer from asthma symptoms when they are doing exercises are able to get regular work out if they treat or manage these symptoms properly. And their athletic goals can’t be limited. Although 80% of asthma sufferers may experience asthma symptoms during or after their exercises, most patients who have exercise-induced asthma can barely experience these symptoms if they aren’t doing exercises.
Occupational asthma is often induced by something existing in one’s working space. There are many materials that are able to cause this type of asthma, including, vapors, smoke, gases, fumes, dust, chemicals. In addition, this type of asthma also can be triggered by molds, pollen, temperature, humidity, viruses or animal products. People are also likely to experience this asthma when they receive a new job, but it doesn’t take too long that the asthma will disappear after quitting that job. So another trigger of this asthma might be the stress.
Nocturnal asthma, also called nighttime asthma, usually happens between midnight and 8 am. It is caused by allergens existing in the rooms, such as pet dander, house dust mites. Or it is triggered by sinus problems. This asthma may not have indicated symptoms during the daytime. But at night when people are lying down or they have fallen asleep, they can be awoken up by the symptoms, such as wheezing, coughing or suffocating breath. These symptoms usually occur in the midnight (2 am to 4 am).
This asthma may happen once a week within a short time, or it happens frequently during the whole week. For patients who have daytime asthma, nighttime asthma symptoms are also the big troubles. But if the patients don’t have clear symptoms at daytime to indicate that asthma is the cause of nighttime coughing, the coughing can’t be simply recognized as nocturnal asthma. The difficult of diagnosis can prevent the people from instant and proper treatment. Although there are many investigations aiming to figure out how this happens, the result hasn’t been defined.
Steroid-resistant asthma may be the most severe type. Most asthma patients may have regular response to inhaled glucocorticoid (usually steroid) therapy, but some are resistant to steroid. Chronic asthma can be significantly affected by immune activation and airway inflammation. Therefore, today’s guidelines for asthma treatment are mainly focused on how to anti-inflammatory therapy to treat asthma, especially on the use of inhaled glucocorticoids, which can greatly reduce immune activation and airway inflammation, thereby treat asthma. But people who have steroid-resistant asthma are more likely to have airway inflammation than people with steroid sensitive asthma.