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DIFFERENT TYPES OF ASTHMA | POSSIBLE CAUSES, AND SYMPTOMS

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Different types of Asthma: Asthma is the condition in which there is an obstruction of the airflow due to the bronchospasm.

This is the condition in which short or long spells of breathing difficulty along with wheezing, dyspnea, and cough.

Due to this, small and rarely medium bronchioles are affected. In the bronchial tree, the lumen normally gets wider during inspiration and narrows due to expiration.

In different types of asthma, expiratory breathing is more prominent and the tendency to narrow down is exaggerated. 

Based on the causes, they are divided into two types of Asthma:

Extrinsic asthma

This type of asthma is more common in children and it is caused due to the exposure of definite allergens. This type is becoming very common among children.

It has occurred when the immune system of children becomes very over-reactive to the dust or pollens.

When the body comes in contact with the dust or pollens then it starts to release an antibody named immunoglobulin E (IgE).

Due to the release of this type of antibody, there is a cause of inflammation along with the symptoms of asthma.

Intrinsic asthma

this type of asthma is caused due to many reasons other than exposure to allergens. It usually develops beyond age 40.

In this type, there are more chances that the patient gets attacks due to the non-allergic related factors. This means that intrinsic asthma is not based on non-allergy factors.

The main reason for intrinsic asthma is stress and the symptoms include shortness of breathing and cough. 

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Types of Asthma

These are the two basic types of asthma which are further divided into 4 types:

1. Mild intermittent asthma 

The symptoms in this type are mild. If you are affected by this type then you will experience the symptoms in two days per week or two nights per month.

The cause for this type does not include your daily activities but includes exercise in the causes.

Symptoms

  • Coughing
  • Swollen airways
  • Wheezing
  • Secretion of mucus in the airways

Who is most likely to suffer?

  • Exposure to pollution
  • Family history of asthma
  • Exposure to chemical fumes
  • Allergies
  • Smoking
  • People with overweight

2. Mild persistent asthma

In this type, you will experience the symptoms which are mild and occurs more than two times a week. 

Symptoms

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Secretion of mucus in airways
  • Chest pain
  • Swollen airways 

Who is most likely to suffer?

  • People with overweight
  • Allergies
  • Exposure to chemical fumes
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to second-hand smoking
  • Family history of asthma

3. Moderate persistent asthma

In this type, you will experience symptoms once at night each week. You can also have symptoms each day or most of the days.

Symptoms

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain
  • Secretion of mucus in the airways
  • Swollen airways

Who is most likely to suffer?

  • Family history of asthma
  • People with overweight
  • Exposure to chemical fumes
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to pollution
  • People with allergies

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4. Severe persistent asthma

This is one of the important types of Asthma in which you will experience symptoms several times a day. In this type, proper medication also doesn’t respond well.

There are many chances that you will experience the symptoms several nights per week as well as everyday

Symptoms

  • Coughing
  • Swollen airways
  • Wheezing
  • Secretion of mucus in airways
  • Cheat pain

Who is most likely to suffer? 

  • Exposure to pollution
  • Exposure to chemical fumes
  • Smoking
  • Exposure to second-hand smoke
  • Overweight
  • People who suffer from allergies 
asthma types

Causes of different types of Asthma

In response to the agents called allergens, airway narrowing takes place in asthmatic patients which normally do not cause normal people.

These allergens can be pollens, dust, mites, etc. The attack can also get precipitated due to the heavy exercise, exposure to cold, etc. 

Due to the exposure, the allergen stimulates the production of the antibody IgE which then finds to the mast cell.

When there is re-exposure to these allergens, it radially binds IgE and hence it results in degranulation of the mast cells by releasing certain substances like histamine, prostaglandins, etc.

These released substances are responsible for the severe air obstruction by causing inflammation, bronchial spasm, and enhanced mucus secretion.

Asthma is very serious in some people without defined allergens and very common among people. To precipitate the attack, anxiety, breathing of cold air, stress, exercise, etc. can stimulate the mast cell.

Normally when we breathe, the air is humidified and warmed but when we exercise, during hyperventilation, humidification is not possible and the air is dry due to which heavy exercise in cold conditions precipitates the attack.

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Diagnosis of Asthma

  • All the diagnosis process is based on the information which is given by the patient based on the events during the attack. 
  • To identify the allergens and their effects, allergy skin testing is also useful in many cases. 
  • Using the spirometry test to confirm the obstruction in the airways and its severity by checking the measurement of peak expiratory flow rate.
  • A dose which includes the inhalation of broncho-constrictors along with checking the air narrowing.
  • Checking forced expiratory volume per second is also very important in the diagnostic test.

Laboratory tests

Laboratory tests are very important in checking the severity of asthma and also the confirmation tests are carried out.

It can also find cause for asthma. Given below are the tests which are carried out in the laboratory.

Chest X-ray examination

It is necessary to check the severity of lung pathology and chest infection. It is very hard to diagnose asthma and a chest x-ray test isn’t an asthma test.

Doctors use this test to detect the foreign body in the airway which causes the symptoms for asthma.

It doesn’t tell whether the patient has asthma or not but it takes an image of the inside of your body by using low doses of radiation through which doctors can view the bodies which are likely to cause the asthma symptoms.

Asthma is treated by the person’s history and physical exam.

Blood examination

Many of the times, in respiratory infections there are leukocytosis seen. The blood examination helps the doctor to see how well your lungs are working.

In this test, it is checked that which cells are responsible for inflammation and other irritation. There are other tests such as allergy tests (blood or skin), FeNO tests, etc.

Sputum examination

It is used in detecting respiratory infection. In asthmatic conditions, analysis of sputum is considered as they may provide a piece of useful information that will help in further diagnosis and monitoring asthma in some selected individuals.

It helps to determine the noninvasive means of evaluating the airway which causes inflammation. Checking of sputum culture has become very important as they help to determine the causes of asthma.

In this process, doctors take a sample of a gooey substance that comes from your chest which is the main reason for an infection in your lungs and mild chest pain.

It may also present in the airways due to which it becomes hard to breathe. Through this test, doctors get the proper information that is used to figure out the causes of illness.

In normal cases, doctors come to know whether the reason behind the infection is a virus, bacteria, or something else.

Pulmonary function tests

The overall activities in asthma can be revealed through this test including forced vital capacity, dynamic lung volume, forced expiratory volume, etc.

In the variety of tests, there is a very common test called spirometry in which you can measure that how much air you can blow out and how fast you can do this.

These tests are very important in asthma as these tests are often used to know about the obstruction which is caused in the airways.

For an accurate diagnosis, pulmonary tests are very important when it comes to asthma. There are very simple tests included which also include spirometry in that.

All the tests are taken in the doctor’s office only so there is no need to visit any lab. When the test is positive then the patient is likely to have asthma.

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Prevention

To avoid allergens and identify them, taking prevention is very necessary to prevent further serious issues.

There are many allergens such as intake of a certain food, dust in the house, heavy exercise, exposure to extremely cold conditions, and many more.

When it comes to drugs, normally theophylline, corticosteroids, etc. are very useful in treating asthma. 

Conclusion

Educating yourself is very important when it comes to asthma and different types of asthma. It helps you to manage your symptoms properly.

There should be an asthma action plan for any patient suffering from asthma and given above are some of the ways which will help you to know about the diagnosis and treatment.

Know the ways for diagnosis and consult your doctor as the action plan is all made by doctors. Do not ignore the smallest symptoms as even mild asthma can increase to the severity.

Take certain preventions and consult your doctor along with it, follow all the necessary steps to cure asthma.

Regular treatments are very necessary when it comes to diseases like asthma so do not skip following the treatments and visiting your doctor for regular check-ups.

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