Health, Lung

Asthma: What Are Its Types?

Asthma

What is Asthma?

The disease that affects your lungs is known as asthma or bronchial asthma. As it is a chronic (permanent) condition, it never fades away and requires ongoing medical care. More than 25 million people in the United States currently suffer from asthma. More than 5 million children are included in this total. If you don’t get treatment, asthma can be dangerous.

What is an attack of Asthma?

Normally, when you breathe, your airways are relaxed, allowing air to flow easily and quietly. Three things that can happen during an asthma attack are given below:

  • Bronchospasm: The muscles that surround the airways tighten (constrict). Your airways narrow when they tighten. Constricted airways prevent air from moving freely.
  • Inflammation: Swelling occurs in your airways’ lining. Your lungs can’t take in as much air when your airways are swollen.
  • Production of mucus: Your body makes more mucus during an attack. Mucus obstructs the airways.
  • Wheezing is the sound your airways make when you breathe out because your airways become more congested. An asthma attack may also be heard as an exacerbation or flare-up. It refers to a state in which your asthma cannot be controlled.

Types of Asthma

Depending on the condition and the intensity of its symptoms, asthma can be classified into different types. Asthma is defined by medical professionals as:

  • Intermittent: In between asthma flares, you can feel normal because this type of asthma comes and goes.
  • Persistent: When you have persistent asthma, you frequently experience symptoms. There are mild, moderate, and severe symptoms. The frequency with which you experience symptoms determines your asthma’s intensity. They also think about how well you can react to an attack.
  • Allergic: Allergies can trigger asthma attacks in some people. Mold, pollen, and pet dander are examples of allergens.
  • Non-allergic: Asthma can become more severe as a result of external factors. A flare-up can be brought on by exercise, stress, illness, or the weather.
  • Adult-onset: After the age of 18, this type of asthma develops (starts).
  • Pediatric: This type of asthma, which is also known as childhood asthma, can affect infants and young children and typically begins before the age of 5. Asthma can be outgrown by children. Before deciding whether your child needs an inhaler in case they have an asthma attack, you should make sure you talk about it with your doctor. You can get more information about the risks from the doctor who treats your child.

Who might get Asthma?

At any age, anyone can develop asthma. Asthma is more common in people who have allergies or are exposed to tobacco smoke. This includes thirdhand smoke (exposure to clothing or surfaces in places where someone has smoked) and secondhand smoke (exposure to someone else who is smoking).

According to statistics, asthma is more common in females than in males born to these genders. Black people are more likely than other races to suffer from asthma.

Asthma: What causes it?

Why some people have asthma while others do not is unknown to researchers. However, certain factors increase the risk:

  • Allergies: Asthma risk can be increased by having allergies.
  • Environmental factors: Exposure to things that irritate the airways can lead to asthma. Allergens, toxins, fumes, and second or third-hand smoke are examples of these substances. These are particularly harmful to infants and young children whose immune systems are still developing.
  • Genetics: You are more likely to get asthma or an allergic disease if it has a history in your family.

What symptoms does asthma present?

Asthma sufferers typically exhibit obvious symptoms. These symptoms are similar to those of other respiratory infections:

  • Pressure, pain, or tightness in the chest
  • Sneezing (particularly at night).
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Wheezing.
  • You might not experience all of these symptoms when your asthma flares up. Chronic asthma can present with a variety of symptoms and signs at different times. Also, between asthma attacks, symptoms can change.
  • Infections of the lungs: The developing lungs of young children can be harmed by certain respiratory infections, such as a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

How do healthcare providers make asthma diagnoses?

Your medical history, including information about your parents and siblings, will be reviewed by your healthcare provider. Additionally, your provider will inquire about your symptoms. Your doctor will want to know if you’ve ever had allergies, eczema, which is an itchy rash caused by allergies, or any other lung conditions.

Your doctor may order spirometry. This test is used to diagnose and track your treatment progress by measuring airflow through your lungs. Your doctor might order a skin test, blood test, or chest X-ray.

What treatments are available for asthma?

There are options for managing asthma. To alleviate symptoms, your doctor may prescribe medication.

These are some:

  • Bronchodilators: The muscles around your airways are relaxed by these medications. The airways can move air thanks to relaxed muscles. Additionally, they facilitate the flow of mucus through the airways. For both intermittent and chronic asthma, these medications are used to treat symptoms as they arise.
  • Medications that reduce inflammation: The swelling and production of mucus in your airways are reduced by these medications. They facilitate the passage of air into and out of your lungs. They might be prescribed by your doctor to take every day to control or prevent your chronic asthma symptoms.
  • Asthma biologic treatments: When proper inhaler therapy fails to alleviate severe asthma symptoms, these are the medications of choice.
  • There are a variety of ways to consume asthma medication. Using a nebulizer, a metered-dose inhaler, or another type of asthma inhaler, you can inhale the medicines. It’s possible that your doctor will give you medications to take by mouth.

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FAQ’s

How can you tell if you have asthma or not?

To determine whether you have asthma or another condition, you will need to see a doctor. Other respiratory conditions can make it difficult to breathe or cause wheezing and coughing.

Is asthma curable?

No. Although asthma cannot be cured, it can be controlled. Asthma may go away in children as they get older.

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