Learn about what is asthma and different types of asthma with which you can get affected.
Asthma – a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the airways of the lungs due to the contraction of airways.
There are three types of asthma: extrinsic, intrinsic and mixed.
Types of Asthma:
It causes due to the external triggers such as pollen, cigarette smoke, dust mites and perfumes.
It develops during childhood since children are more susceptible to allergens. [Childhood Asthma]
An allergen is a foreign particle which enters the body and your immune system over reacts to these harmless items forming antibodies which are normally used to attack viruses or bacteria. Mast cells release these antibodies as well as other chemicals to defend your body.
People with allergic asthma and their families frequently have other types of asthma and allergy related problems such as hives, eczema, hay fever, rhinitis and skin rashes.
It causes due to the respiratory tract infections. People with intrinsic are tested for all of the common allergies but none of them found to trigger an asthmatic episode.
It is not allergy related. It may be caused by inhalation of chemicals, cleaning agents, chest infection, cold air, food preservatives and stress. Antibodies are not produced and even when skin tested to various antigens shows a reaction, these substances do not lead to an asthma attack.
The cause of intrinsic asthma is due to irritation to the nerves or muscles in the airways. Treatment is not easy as what triggers the asthma may not be known to you. You can avoid things such as cleaning agents or perfumes at home.
Apart from two types of asthma, there is mixed asthma which is a mixture of extrinsic and intrinsic. If you have mixed asthma, you react to some allergies but your asthma is also triggered by other things.
These types of asthma can be useful in understanding your disease and treating it. Most of them have mixed asthma. Someone with extrinsic asthma experience attacks when he has chest infection which is an intrinsic trigger.
Extrinsic asthma is more prevalent in the young compared to other two types of asthma. Children develop allergies to inhaled substances and this stays up to life time. After young adulthood, the reaction to allergies dies down and so often does the asthmatic response.
Types of asthma according to the condition:
Nocturnal asthma is one of the types of asthma which suddenly worsens in the middle of the night. With nocturnal asthma, people fall asleep quickly because they are physically exhausted only to wake three to four hours later with breathing difficulties.
If you have nocturnal asthma, you feel totally exhausted during the day and need catnaps to keep functioning at an adequate level.
If you have nocturnal asthma, you have to take it seriously as there is a high frequency of respiratory arrest and death due to asthma in the early hours of the morning.
Bronchial asthma is one of the types of asthma usually is an allergic reaction with breathing difficulties and wheezing. The smooth muscles wrapped around the airways contract and mucus is produced because the airways become irritated.
These attacks are mostly caused due to hyper sensitivity to air borne particles or allergies to food.
Seasonal asthma is one of the types of asthma which can be triggered by grasses, trees or flowers releasing pollen to the atmosphere or by a particular climate or season. For some people, summer heat makes asthma worse and for others spring may be particularly bad with the increase in flowering plants.
Exercise induced asthma is one of the types of asthma noticed during or shortly after exercise. You may feel short of breath or wheezy. If you have exercise induced asthma, exercising in the winter is particularly bad.
Occupational asthma is one of the types of asthma that can be triggered at work place. Common causes of occupational asthma are chemical fumes, glue fumes, saw dust and constant dusty conditions. Your symptoms may improve on holidays or after leaving the position.