All Types of Asthma

asthma typesDo you know how different types of asthma differ from each other? If you suffer from asthma, then you are probably familiar with symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness. Determining the asthma type will also help you find the right and most effective treatment.

Allergies and asthma

Allergies and asthma are often interconnected. One of the most common chronic allergic diseases, allergic rhinitis (also called hay fever), is an inflammation of the nasal mucosa. In patients with this disease, there is an increased sensitivity to a certain allergen substance, upon contact with which the body’s immune cells produce histamine. It, in turn, together with other substances, causes an aggravation of allergic symptoms. Most allergens enter the body through the respiratory tract.

With allergic rhinitis, there is an runny nose, watery eyes, constant sneezing, inflammation of the nasal passages, increased mucus secretion. Coughing may occur due to postnasal drip. Allergic rhinitis is a common cause of asthma symptoms’ exacerbation. However, medications to control allergies can reduce coughs and other asthma symptoms.

Exercise-induced asthma

Exercise-induced asthma is a type of asthma which symptoms worsen during exercise. Even healthy people, including Olympic champions, may show some asthma symptoms during intense exercise.

In such an asthma type, the maximum narrowing of the airways occurs 5-20 minutes after the start of physical activity. In addition to difficulty breathing, other symptoms common to an asthma attack, such as wheezing and coughing, may develop. If necessary, your doctor may recommend that you use an inhaler (bronchodilator) before starting exercise to help prevent these unpleasant symptoms.

Cough-variant asthma

In cough-variant asthma, the predominant symptom is severe cough. Cough can have other causes, such as postnasal drip, chronic rhinitis, sinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD or heartburn). Coughing due to sinusitis in asthma is a common symptom.

Asthma, as a severe cause of cough, is quite common today. Cough-variant asthma is poorly diagnosed and therefore difficult to treat. The most common triggers for cough asthma are respiratory infections or exercise.

If a cough has been bothering you for a long time, you should see a doctor. You may need to do some tests to determine if you have asthma, such as a lung function test, which will show how well your lungs are working. Before a definitive diagnosis is established, a thorough lung examination should be conducted.

Occupational asthma

Occupational asthma is a type of asthma whose triggers are at work. In patients with occupational asthma, symptoms only worsen when they are in the workplace. Most people with this type of asthma suffer from a runny and stuffy nose, watery eyes, or a cough instead of the wheezing characteristic of common asthma. Animal breeding specialists, farmers, hairdressers, nurses, artists, carpenters, chemical workers and others are at risk of developing occupational asthma.

Nocturnal asthma

Nocturnal asthma is quite common. In this disease, symptoms are likely to occur during sleep, which is predetermined by the sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm). Symptoms of nocturnal asthma include wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing, which can be very dangerous, especially at night.

Studies have shown that most asthma deaths occur at night. It is believed that this is due to more intense exposure to allergens at night, hypothermia of the airways, horizontal body position, or hormonal changes that disrupt the circadian rhythm. Heartburn can sometimes cause asthma at night. Sinusitis and asthma are also severe problems, especially with postnasal drip, which triggers a cough. Even the sleep process itself affects lung function.

If you have asthma and you notice symptoms in the evening, it’s time to visit your doctor and find out the causes of the exacerbation. You should not postpone the visit, because the right drugs and their timely administration are the way to manage asthma symptoms and improve the quality of sleep.

Diseases that imitate asthma

A variety of diseases can have symptoms similar to those of asthma. For example, cardiac asthma is a form of heart failure in which some of the symptoms are similar to those of regular asthma.

Vocal cord dysfunction is another condition similar to asthma. Recently, the attention of scientists has been attracted by an unusual syndrome, which is more common among young girls, in which dysfunction of the vocal cords causes an attack of loud wheezing. It is often confused with asthma, however, unlike asthmatic, this attack cannot be stopped with bronchodilators.