A Reference Guide to Asthma Types

With growing pollution levels and intense industrialization, asthma has become a major health concern for Americans today. Hectic lifestyles and busy schedules make people ignore their personal health.

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease affecting the lungs. Fast and laboured breathing is a main feature of this disease. The chief cause for asthma is swollen or inflamed airways of the lungs. This swelling causes the airways to constrict, leading to a lot of difficulty for the air to move in and out.

How Does Asthma Affect Your Lungs?

When we breathe, air passes through our nostrils, wind pipe and bronchi tube to finally reach our lungs. During an attack of asthma, this function of breathing in and out is affected. The individual cannot breathe freely as his airway becomes constricted. Restricted air flow causes breathlessness and wheezing.

Asthma symptoms can be either mild or severe. Mild symptoms include coughing, normally during the night, headache, nasal and chest congestion, loss of appetite, runny nose and sleeplessness. In severe cases of asthma, the patient undergoes difficulty in talking, shortness of breath, makes audible wheezing sounds during exhalation and feels pain or a feeling of tightness in the chest, and experiences panic attacks and changes in skin colour.

Neglecting milder symptoms of asthma can have a bad effect on your health, and even lead to life threatening conditions.

Several products can trigger an asthma attack in people. Many such products are household spray cleaners, cigarette smoke and even air fresheners.

Various Types Of Asthma:

o Allergic asthma

This is the most common type, where the attack is triggered by allergens. Allergens are allergy causing substances. The simplest of things can set off an attack. Some common allergens are dust mites, smoke, moth, pollen, wood dust, strong chemicals, pesticides, insect repellents, strong odours (perfumes), pet dander and pet hair, change in weather conditions, smell of fuel or gas and even certain foods.

o Exercise induced asthma

Though not very common, many people suffer from exercise induced asthma. Such people might suffer extreme breathlessness while climbing the stairs or carrying heavy objects. They can find it very difficult to exercise and experience constant coughing and shortness of breath while exercising.

o Occupational Asthma

Breathing in of noxious chemicals, product wastes, fumes, wood dust etc. can trigger this kind of asthma. Industrial or occupational asthma is caused due to industrial products or waste. People who work or live near chemical manufacturing units or refineries find that their symptoms improve when they are away from work or if they move to a different location.

o Psychological asthma

The main cause of psychological asthma is emotional distress. Stress at home or work place can trigger an attack. As the cause of this type of asthma is generally deep rooted, it requires love, care and support of the victim’s near and dear ones.

To keep asthma under control, it is best to try and avoid the triggers. Knowing about the various types of asthma will enable you to prevent it. ‘Prevention is better than cure” is the right mantra to deal with most asthma cases.