People often use “asthma” as a general term for a type of breathing disorder. However, there are many different types of asthma, each with its own triggers. For people who have asthma, it’s important to know the specifics about their condition. Some of the more common types of bronchial asthma are described below.
Many people with asthma learn they have the condition as a child. In others, however, symptoms of asthma don’t develop until adulthood. This may be the case because they unknowingly avoid their triggers until later in life. Or, in some cases, a condition like a respiratory infection leaves them with a cough that doesn’t resolve and they’re diagnosed with asthma.
Often there’s a link between allergies and asthma. Allergens like dust, pet dander and pollen can trigger an asthma attack in some people. Allergic asthma has symptoms like difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, and tightness in the chest.
The trigger for exercise-induced asthma is physical exertion. Often, people with asthma have an increase in symptoms when they exercise. But some individuals, such as elite athletes, who don’t otherwise have asthma symptoms develop them when they exercise. This tends to occur within 20 minutes of starting a workout. Symptoms like difficulty breathing, coughing and wheezing then worsen for a few minutes after the workout ends.
For people with non-allergic asthma, their triggers aren’t related to allergens. Instead, issues like being sick, weather extremes and stress tend to cause an asthma attack. Exercise, some food additives, and medications may also be a trigger.
Many conditions such as sinusitis, postnasal drip and others can cause a persistent cough. In some cases where a cough won’t go away, however, the cause is what some people refer to as cough-type asthma. It’s important to see your doctor if you have a cough that doesn’t seem to be associated with another illness.
Triggers in the workplace can cause asthma. If you only have trouble breathing on the days that you work, that may be the problem. Occupational asthma is more common for certain types of workers, including painters, hairdressers, woodworkers, nurses, and farmers. People with this type of asthma tend to have eye irritation, congestion, runny nose, and cough rather than the wheezing that’s common with other types of asthma.
Asthma can be controlled.
Learn more about asthma treatment from Baptist Health.