What are the different types of asthma?

The different variations of asthma

Asthma is a long term condition that causes the airways to become inflamed, resulting in breathing difficulties. The symptoms include coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing. Inhalers are used to treat asthma and keep your symptoms under control. Asthma can affect different people in different ways and there are numerous forms of the condition. 

Childhood asthma 

Asthma is often diagnosed in childhood. For some people, their asthma improves or disappears completely as they get older. This is more likely to happen if the asthma is mild. Moderate to severe asthma is more likely to continue throughout your life, although the symptoms may improve slightly. If you had asthma as a child and no longer experience symptoms, it is still possible that your asthma may return later in life. You should ensure you have access to an inhaler in case you need it. 

Seasonal asthma 

Some people only experience asthma during certain times of the year, typically during the summer or winter. This is where asthma symptoms are triggered by either pollen or cold weather and this is known as seasonal asthma.  

Occupational asthma 

Occupational asthma is brought on by irritants in your workplace and is caused by coming into close contact with them as part of your job. These typically include factors like chemicals, flour, fumes or animal hair. It is defined as occupational asthma if your symptoms only began after you started a particular job and tend to ease off while you are away from work. 

Severe asthma 

Severe asthma affects 17% of asthma sufferers and causes frequent breathing difficulties. You may also experience regular serious asthma attacks. In some cases, it takes time to find the right combination of medications to keep your symptoms under control. For others, they may be referred to an asthma specialist. 

Adult-onset asthma 

Some people develop asthma for the first time as an adult. It can be difficult to determine the cause but it can be triggered by a variety of factors including: 

  • Smoking 
  • Female hormones 
  • Stress
  • Depression 
  • Emotional responses 
  • Irritants 

Allergic asthma 

Allergic response asthma is triggered by coming into contact with something you are allergic to. This commonly includes pollen, dust mites and animal air. Finding ways to manage your allergy will help to reduce your asthma symptoms, such as taking antihistamines. A preventer inhaler (such as the Seretide Accuhaler) can help to manage your asthma and prevent symptoms from flaring up. 

Exercise-induced asthma  

Exercise-induced asthma is usually triggered during exercise and physical exertion. The airways usually narrow a few minutes after beginning exercise or after stopping. You may also experience wheezing and coughing. 

Cough-variant asthma 

In cough-variant asthma, the only persistent symptom of the condition is a cough. This can be difficult to diagnose as there are many possible causes of a cough. A doctor may examine your symptoms and test your lung function in order to find a diagnosis. 

Nocturnal asthma 

Nocturnal asthma is where your symptoms predominantly occur during the night. This is common as asthma can be triggered by exposure to allergens, cooling of the airways, the hormonal change or being in a reclined position. If your asthma symptoms are worse at night then make an appointment to see your doctor. 

View all asthma treatments

Sources: 

Asthma UK> Types of Asthma
Web MD> Asthma Types
 

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