Types of Asthma
You might have become familiar with asthma, as an increasing number of people are suffering from it. But did you know that there are many different types of asthma? Understanding what type of asthma may help asthma sufferers to take more effective action towards preventing or treating asthma symptoms.
This type of asthma usually occurs during childhood. Child-onset asthma probably happens because the child has become sensitized to surrounding allergens. This is most likely due to genetic conditions. The more atopic the child might be affects their risk, as this is a genetic state of being hypersensitive to allergens.
Allergens refer to any substances that are taken as alien substances by the body and can trigger immune responses. Allergens vary between individuals, but they usually include fungi, animal proteins, dust mites or other kinds of substances. The cells in the airways are very sensitive to some materials. If children who are atopic are exposed to allergens of certain amounts, they are more likely to have asthmatic responses.
When people develop asthma at around 20 years of age, this is classed as adult-onset asthma. This asthma tends to impact women more than men. But this type of asthma isn’t as common overall, as child-onset asthma.
Common allergens or allergic materials are usually 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 it. It’s considered that about 50% of this asthma is associated with allergies. But a large portion of this type of asthma seems to have no links with the exposure to allergens. When this asthma isn’t caused by allergens it is non-allergic adult-onset asthma, also called intrinsic asthma.
Among all the different types of asthma, perhaps, cough-induced asthma is the most difficult one to diagnose. To examine this type of asthma, a doctor must first exclude other possibilities, such as 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.
This type of asthma is triggered by exercise. If you frequently wheeze, cough or can hardly breathe between or after exercise, you may well have exercise-induced asthma. Of course, a person’s fitness level could be a reason for breathing difficulties. For instance, if you aren’t physically fit, it’s relatively common to have short breath after running or exercising for about 10 minutes or about. But if you can’t find any reasonable explanation for these symptoms, you should be aware that you may have exercise-induced asthma.
Just like the common symptoms of other types of asthma, people with this type also have difficulties breathing, as the air can’t flow into or out of the lungs as usual, since there is extra mucus and bronchial tubes are inflamed. People who only suffer from asthma symptoms when they are doing exercise are able to do a regular work out if they treat or manage these symptoms properly. And their athletic goals aren’t limited or affected. Although 80% of asthma sufferers may experience asthma symptoms during or after exercise, most patients who have exercise-induced asthma barely experience these symptoms when they aren’t doing exercise.
Occupational asthma is often induced by something existing in one’s working space. There are many materials that are likely to cause this type of asthma, including, vapor, smoke, gases, fumes, dust or chemicals. In addition, this type of asthma also can be triggered by mold, pollen, temperature, humidity, viruses or animal products. People are also likely to experience this asthma when they start a new job, although this usually goes away after quitting that job. So another trigger of this asthma might be stress.
Nocturnal asthma (also called nighttime asthma) usually happens between midnight and 8 am. It is caused by allergens in the room, such as pet dander or house dust mites or can be triggered by sinus problems. This asthma may not cause symptoms during the daytime. But at night when people are lying down or they have fallen asleep, they can be awoken up by their symptoms, such as wheezing, coughing or suffocating breath. These symptoms usually occur in the early morning (between 2 am and 4 am).
This type of asthma may happen once a week within a short time, or it frequently during a whole week. For patients who have daytime asthma, nighttime asthma symptoms are also big trouble. But if the patients don’t have clear symptoms in the daytime to indicate that asthma is the cause of nighttime coughing, the coughing can’t be simply recognized as nocturnal asthma. The difficulty of diagnosing nocturnal asthma, can prevent people from getting instant, correct treatment. Although there is currently lots of research going on as to how this occurs, the result hasn’t been defined.
Steroid-resistant asthma may be the most severe type. Most asthma patients may have regular responses 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 get anti-inflammatory therapy to treat asthma, especially with the use of inhaled glucocorticoids, which can greatly reduce immune activation and airway inflammation, thereby treating asthma. But people who have steroid-resistant asthma are more likely to have airway inflammation than people with steroid sensitive asthma.