Understanding Asthma

Different Types of Asthma

Asthma strikes all people of all ages, and over time, the medical community has spent countless hours and an enormous amount of resources on learning as much as possible about the disease. Several positive discoveries and advancements have been made, and one of the results of all of this learning is the ability to identify six different types of asthma. One of the common denominators of these different types of asthma, however, is the ability to successfully manage and control the disease simply by following the proper protocols. Below are the six different types of asthma.

Occupational Asthma

Occupational asthma refers to the type of asthma that measures its onset by the exposure to certain agents and/or irritants that lead to the development of the disease. Examples of general categories of these agents include certain chemicals, dust and even animal proteins.


Allergic Asthma

Allergic asthma is just what the term itself describes – the type of asthma that's triggered in those who are predisposed to all different types of allergies. Examples of allergies that are relatively linked to the disease include pet dander and pollen. Some refer to this type of asthma as seasonal asthma, as certain pollens are more prevalent in the atmosphere at certain times of year than others.

Non–Allergic Asthma

Non-allergic asthma is perhaps the most mysterious of all the different types, as no one has yet tied its development to specific triggers or even to a particular genetic disposition. Some of the substances that have been linked to the triggers include tobacco smoke, paint fumes and household cleaning products.

Nocturnal Asthma

Although the triggers for nocturnal asthma appear to be largely similar to other types, there are certain patients who tend to encounter attacks between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. One working theory is that while a person sleeps, certain substances such as adrenaline and corticosteroids that otherwise guard against an outbreak exist at lower levels at this time of day than during others.

Exercise–Induced Asthma

Active people who have asthma tend to suffer more numerous and severe attacks after a period of strenuous exercise. Studies have shown that those who exercise outdoors during the winter in cold climates are particularly susceptible.

Asthma During Pregnancy

Although the causes remain largely unknown, studies have shown that as many as one–third of pregnant women with asthma experience a worsening of attacks while pregnant. This could be due to hormonal changes and changes in the immune system.

Regardless of the type of asthma that exists within a particular patient, every form of this disease can be successfully managed and does not mean that an asthma patient cannot live a normal, active and happy life.