July 21, 2022
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Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the airways and causes breathing difficulties. Asthma can’t be cured, but symptoms can be controlled with the appropriate therapy.
Asthma typically causes wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing, but there are many different types of asthma and some appear differently to others.
Some symptoms are consistent across multiple different types of asthma, while other symptoms are more commonly associated with one particular type.
It’s common for people to have more than one type of asthma at the same time.
Knowing which type of asthma you have is important as this can help ensure you get the most appropriate treatment and potentially avoid possible triggers that set off your asthma symptoms.
Types of asthma
The different types of asthma are named based on factors such as age at onset of symptoms, the severity and type of symptoms, and triggers of asthma symptoms.
The following is a list of different types of asthma:
1. Pediatric or childhood asthma
Pediatric asthma, as the name suggests, begins during childhood. It’s a leading cause of missed school days. Before puberty, asthma is more common in boys than girls, but after puberty, this situation reverses. Boys are also more likely than girls to have severe asthma during childhood and adolescence.
The exact cause of pediatric asthma is not clear – many factors have been suggested to play a role including a pregnant person’s diet, stress levels, and antibiotic and cigarette use during the prenatal period. Exposure to cigarette smoke, air pollution, animals, mites, mold, and other allergens during childhood also play a role.
The classic symptoms of asthma in children include:
Increased wheezing and difficulty breathing are common signs of a flare-up beginning.
Asthma symptoms in children are commonly triggered by colds and other infections of the upper respiratory tract. Exercise and coming into contact with allergens, smoke and other irritants are also common triggers. Symptoms may also worsen at night.
Often a diagnosis of asthma in children occurs after the child has been diagnosed with recurrent wheezing associated respiratory infections (WARIs) or reactive airway disease (RAD). Asthma also commonly occurs alongside eczema and allergies.
To diagnose asthma your healthcare provider will take a medical history and conduct spirometry tests – which require a child to breathe into a tube connected to a machine – to see how well their lungs function. Other tests that may provoke asthma symptoms, such as allergy and exercise testing, and administering methacholine – a drug that temporarily narrows the airways – may also be required.
2. Adult-onset asthma
While many people develop asthma in childhood, in some people symptoms don’t appear until adulthood. Unlike children who tend to have intermittent symptoms triggered by allergies or a respiratory infection, adults usually have persistent symptoms.
Adult-onset asthma more often develops in women, who are more likely to develop asthma after the age of 20, and obese people.
Some cases of adult-onset asthma also occur in people who had asthma as a child. In these cases, symptoms often disappeared in late childhood and reemerged during the person’s 30s or 40s.
Causes of adult-onset asthma include:
Smoking does not cause adult-onset asthma, but it can make the symptoms worse.
Symptoms of adult-onset asthma include:
Adult-onset asthma is diagnosed in the same way as pediatric asthma. Your healthcare provider who will take a medical history, check your lung function with spirometry tests, and possibly run other tests such as allergy tests.
3. Allergic asthma
Allergic asthma is the most common type of asthma, affecting about 60 percent of people diagnosed with asthma.
Symptoms of allergic asthma are caused or triggered by exposure to pollen, pets, dust mites, cockroaches, and other allergens.
If you have allergic asthma, your immune system sees the allergens as harmful invaders and releases a substance called immunoglobulin E (IgE), which can result in swelling and inflammation of your airways. This makes it more difficult to breathe and may possibly trigger an asthma attack.
Allergic asthma causes:
Symptoms of allergic asthma may also be accompanied by allergy symptoms, such as red eyes, sneezing, a blocked nose, itching, or a rash.
Allergy testing, including blood tests and skin tests, can help confirm a diagnosis of allergic asthma.
4. Non-allergic asthma
Non-allergic asthma (non-atopic asthma) isn’t caused by allergens but is instead triggered by illnesses, stress, medications, or environmental factors such as temperature changes. It is less common than allergic asthma, occurring in between 10 and 33 percent of asthmatics. It may develop later in life and its symptoms can be more severe.
Symptoms of non-allergic asthma may be caused or triggered by viral infections of the respiratory tract, exercise, airborne irritants, stress, weather conditions, and certain medications and food additives.
The symptoms of non-allergic asthma also include shortness of breath, wheezing, trouble breathing, a feeling of tightness in your chest, and cough – particularly at night, during exercise, or while laughing.
The same tests used to diagnose allergic asthma are used to help diagnose non-allergic asthma, as they help to rule out allergens as the cause of asthma symptoms.
5. Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction
Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) was previously called exercise-induced asthma. In people with EIB, the airways narrow in response to exercise or physical activity, which makes breathing more difficult.
Up to 90 percent of people with asthma are thought to experience EIB, but EIB can also occur in people who do not otherwise have asthma.
EIB can be triggered by physical activity itself, particularly intense physical activity. It can also be triggered by irritants you come into contact with while exercising, such as chlorine while swimming, pollution while exercising outdoors, or cold, dry air from an ice rink. Cold, dry air is a more common trigger of EIB symptoms than warm, humid air.
Symptoms often appear within a few minutes of starting exercise and can continue for some time after you stop exercising.
The most common symptoms of EIB are:
As with other types of asthma, allergy testing can be useful to help rule out allergens as a cause of your asthma symptoms. To help confirm the diagnosis your healthcare provider may also use spirometry testing conducted while you exercise on a treadmill or a recumbent exercise bike.
6. Occupational asthma
Occupational asthma is a type of asthma that is caused by coming into contact with allergens or irritants in the workplace. It affects about 10 to 25 percent of adults with asthma.
Asthma is generally considered to be a chronic, long-term condition, but occupational asthma may be reversible if the cause can be avoided.
Occupational asthma can be caused by a range of allergens and irritants, including:
Symptoms of occupational asthma may take time to develop. As your sensitivity to the allergen or irritant increases your symptoms become worse. Symptoms may include:
If you suspect that you have occupational asthma, then visit your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will likely run the same tests as used to diagnose other types of asthma, and if a particular allergen or irritant is suspected they may also conduct a challenge test to see how you respond.
7. Cough variant asthma
Cough variant asthma (CVA), is a type of asthma that causes a dry, nonproductive cough as the only symptom. It is a common cause of chronic cough and may result in the development of other asthma symptoms if left untreated. CVA can develop at any age, but it typically develops in young children.
Often people with CVA have seasonal variation in their symptoms, indicating that allergens play a role in triggering CVA symptoms in many cases. Other causes of CVS, such as strong fragrances or cold air, can also trigger symptoms.
CVA can be difficult to diagnose because lung function tests, such as spirometry tests, may produce normal results. Methacholine challenge testing is sometimes used, but another option that your healthcare provider may use to confirm a diagnosis of CVA is to prescribe you a bronchodilator – a medication that opens up your airways and is used to treat asthma. If this medication improves your cough, then it indicates that you may have CVA.
8. Nocturnal or nighttime asthma
As many as three quarters of the people who have asthma report having symptoms at night.
The symptoms of nocturnal or nighttime asthma can occur just before bedtime or develop at any point during the night.
Symptoms of nocturnal asthma include the usual asthma symptoms of a cough, a feeling of tightness in the chest, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Nocturnal asthma can also disrupt your sleep, leaving you feeling tired during the day and making it more difficult to concentrate. It may also make it more difficult to control your asthma symptoms during the day.
Symptoms of nocturnal asthma may be triggered by lying on your back while you sleep. Lying on your back can make it harder to breathe and also allow mucus from your nose to drip down the back of your throat, which can make you cough. If you get acid reflux from lying down, then this might also irritate your airways.
Exposure to dust mites, pet dander, mold, and other allergens in the bedroom or during the evening can also make asthma symptoms worse at night, as can exposure to cooler night air. Changes in hormone levels during sleep may also contribute to the development of asthma symptoms at night.
Talk to your healthcare provider if you think you have nocturnal asthma. They may recommend you use a peak flow meter at home, which is a small plastic device you blow into. A peak flow meter measures how quickly you can blow air out of your lungs and tells you how open your airways are. Taking measurements during the day and night to check your lung function can help to confirm whether you have nocturnal asthma.
9. Asthma-COPD overlap syndrome
Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are conditions that can make breathing more difficult and share many of the same symptoms. Some people with asthma can also develop COPD and this is known as asthma-COPD overlap syndrome (ACOS).
People with ACOS typically have reduced lung function and more frequent and severe symptoms including:
It’s important to find out if you have ACOS because it can be more serious than asthma on its own. Your healthcare provider will take a medical history, perform a physical exam, and conduct other tests for asthma they may recommend a chest x-ray or CT scan.
10. Other types of asthma
In addition to the types of asthma listed above, the following terms are also used to help describe the different types of asthma.
If you’re diagnosed with asthma, talk to your healthcare provider to find out what type of asthma you have. Work with them to develop a treatment plan and remember to take your asthma medications regularly as prescribed. Many people find that with good management they are able to keep their asthma symptoms under control.
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Theo tuổi tác, hệ miễn dịch của chúng ta trở nên kém hiệu quả hơn trong việc đối phó với các tình trạng nhiễm trùng cũng như kém đáp ứng với việc chủng ngừa. Đồng thời, hệ miễn dịch lão hóa có mối liên hệ với tình trạng viêm mạn tính, từ đó làm tăng
With age, the human immune system becomes less effective at tackling infections and less responsive to vaccinations. At the same time, the aging immune system is associated with chronic inflammation, which increases the risk of almost all conditions linked to old age. The good news is that exercising and adopting the right diet may help