Did you know that there’s more than one type of asthma? These types are strikingly similar in that they have the same symptoms, but they also have unique aspects that influence how they’re triggered, diagnosed, and treated or managed. It’s worth mentioning that it’s also possible to have more than one type of asthma.
Below, we’ve provided some information about the different types of asthma attacks, as well as their corresponding treatments.
With this type of asthma, the airways tighten when a person breathes in an allergen.
While there is no cure for allergic asthma, it is highly treatable. The treatment plan for allergic asthma includes trigger avoidance along with the use of oral medications and rescue inhalers.
There are two types of rescue inhalers that can be used in the treatment of allergic asthma: short-acting beta-agonists (SABAs) and corticosteroids. SABAs are the most commonly used type of rescue inhaler, and they work by quickly relaxing the muscles around the airways and stopping asthma symptoms. Some people may be given allergy drops, also known as immunotherapy if other measures don’t work well enough.
Also referred to as non-atopic asthma, this type of asthma isn’t related to an allergy trigger, and is less common compared to allergic asthma.
The most common treatment for non-allergic asthma is inhaled corticosteroids, which help to reduce inflammation in the airways. In some cases, doctors may also prescribe long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs) to be used along with inhaled corticosteroids. LABAs work by relaxing the muscles around the airways, allowing for easier breathing.
Non-allergic asthma could be triggered by a respiratory infection as well. In such a case, the underlying cause needs to be treated.
Exercise-induced asthma is exactly what it sounds like: the narrowing of the airways in the lungs is caused by strenuous exercise.
As with any other type of asthma, inhaled bronchodilators are used for controlling the symptoms of exercise-induced asthma.
Cold weather and constant activity are believed to trigger exercise-induced asthma, and it is recommended that patients with the condition avoid constant activity in cold weather, and aim for short bursts of activity in milder temperatures.
Occupational asthma is a type of asthma triggered by exposure to certain substances, such as dust and chemicals in the workplace.
Managing this type of asthma requires a combination of trigger avoidance, self-care measures (e.g., wearing protective equipment at work), pharmacotherapy (use of medications), and patient education. Bronchodilators and anti-inflammatory medications are the mainstays of pharmacologic intervention for occupational asthma.
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