Asthma is a common health condition that affects many people across the world. In the past, it was thought just to be a children’s disease, but in reality, asthma affects people of all ages and backgrounds. There are different types of asthma, and while they share common symptoms, they’re also very different. This article will discuss the 4 most common types of asthma, the signs, symptoms, and what to look out for.
If you think you might have asthma or are worried that a loved one might be suffering from one of these conditions, here is some information that could prove helpful. Please note, however, that this article is intended only as a guide and that you should always consult your doctor before making any decisions relating to your health or that of your family members.
What is Asthma
Did you know that 25 million Americans have asthma? Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the airways in your lungs. This condition causes the airways in your lungs to become narrow, inflamed, and obstructed by mucus, making it difficult to breathe correctly. The severity of asthma greatly ranges from minor to severe. Many people who have Asthma are often plagued with symptoms such as:
- difficulty breathing
- chest pain
Although this condition is treatable by a medical professional, it does require a medical diagnosis and needs to be managed with proper medications and care.
Childhood asthma is very similar to adult-onset asthma; however, the symptoms can be quite different in many cases. Unfortunately, this type of asthma is not curable and may require extensive treatment throughout your child’s life to prevent and manage attacks. It’s essential to speak with your child’s pediatrician to receive the proper medical treatment and avoid damaging their growing lungs. Different triggers can cause an attack, such as having a cold, pollen, and much more. Many children have their first symptoms of childhood asthma at 5 years old. However, it can occur earlier in some cases.
Signs & Symptoms
It’s important to note that symptoms of asthma in children can change over time. This means you must stay diligent in looking out for symptoms that you might not have seen before. Here are a few signs and symptoms to look out for if you believe your child has asthma, such as:
- feeling weak or tired
- grunting or trouble eating
- shortness of breath
- rapid breathing
- worsen cough after an infection
In more severe asthma cases, it’s essential to seek medical help right away by going to your nearest emergency room.
Adult-onset asthma can occur in adults regardless of their previous medical history or background. Typically, this is diagnosed in people who are older than 20 years old. Although adult-onset asthma can occur at random, some risk factors may make you more likely to receive a diagnosis, such as:
- having a virus or illness
- having GERD
- exposure to an environmental irritant
- family history of asthma
- being around smokers
- history of allergies
There is no cure for adult-onset asthma, and depending on the severity of your diagnosis, it will need to be monitored throughout your life. The signs and symptoms of adult-asthma are general asthma symptoms that we can see from this condition. However, adult-onset asthma can be classified into 4 different categories such as:
- Mild intermediate
- Mild persistent
- Moderate persistent
- Severe persistent
These classifications determine the severity of the diagnosis and help you and your doctor create a long-term care plan to control your asthma better.
Did you know that the same allergens that give people running noses and watery eyes can also be the leading cause of an asthma attack? Typically, these issues occur when a person breathes in allergens which trigger the airways in your lungs to become inflamed and narrow, making it harder to breathe. Allergies can vary such as:
- dust mites
- animal dandruff
Although allergies are the leading cause of this type of asthma, other irritants in the environment can cause flare-ups and asthma attacks. By seeking the help of an allergist, you can help pinpoint your allergies and learn how to avoid them.
Although you may not have signs of chronic asthma when doing normal daily activities, exercise can cause symptoms to develop. This can be triggered by vigorous or prolonged exercise. Have you ever heard someone say breath through your nose, not your mouth? Well, there is a reason for this. When we breathe through our mouths, we take in air that is often colder and drier than if we were to breathe through our noses. These changes in temperature and humidity can trigger your airways to constrict and become overly sensitive. Symptoms are as follows:
- shortness of breath during exercise
- fatigue during exercise
- tightening of chest
Prevent Asthma Attacks
The first way to prevent an asthma attack from these 4 most common types of asthma is to understand your triggers. As we discussed, each person can have different triggers which can cause an asthma attack. It is best to avoid situations where your asthma might flare up due to activity or triggers within the environment. Here are a few ways that can help, such as:
- minimizing your exposure to triggers such as pollen, animal dandruff, dust, smoke, etc.
- sticking to your medication routine
- knowing the signs and symptoms of an asthma attack
- having medication at hand to manage attacks and symptoms
Seeking help from a medical professional is always the next step to receiving a diagnosis and proper treatment. Your medical provider will be able to prescribe you the medication needed to manage these symptoms and attacks, as well as create a long-term care plan. Although asthma is incurable, you and your doctor can work together to reach goals such as:
- decrease in attacks
- live and active lifestyle
- perform activities without difficulty
- prevent symptoms
4 Most Common Types of Asthma: Conclusion
You don’t have to live your life in fear if you are diagnosed with asthma. With the help of your medical care provider and an individualized treatment plan, you can go back to living your life the way you should. Don’t let your asthma symptoms hold you back. Contact us today and get help with your asthma symptoms once and for all.