lung condition with ongoing airway inflammation that results in recurring episodes of swelling and blockage of the airways. Exposure to triggers creates this swelling and blockage which can be mild, moderate, severe or fatal. Asthma type determines the treatment that is prescribed.
Treatment of asthma today can improve the ability of students to participate fully in activities even though often times a student’s asthma can be precipitated by exercise. Asthma is classified in a variety of ways and often is described by the trigger that makes the asthma worse or when the asthma is diagnosed. Your asthma type will also determine your treatment options.
The most common asthma type is child–onset asthma which begins in childhood and often happens in a child who likely has a genetic predisposition and has been sensitized to common allergens. When children who have this predisposition (atopic children) are exposed to those potential allergens such as house dust, mites, animal proteins, fungus or other toxins they produce a type of antibody. More exposure to the allergens can lead to an asthmatic response. Interestingly, atopic children are also more prone to eczema that is linked to asthma.
Adult onset asthma develops after age 20 and is less common than asthma in children. It affects more women than men and can be triggered by allergies but allergic response doesn’t seem to be the most important factor. Other triggers include animal products, forms of plastic, wood dust or metals.
Exercised induced asthma type happens during or after strenuous exercise. This type of response is recognized in up to 80% of people with asthma but it also may be an isolated event. Exercise induced asthma can happen once without other symptoms of asthma ever occurring again. The event happens 5-20 minutes after beginning exercise that involves breathing through the mouth.
Because cold weather is a primary trigger for asthma it makes sense that sport games played in the cold weather, such as hockey, running, and cross-country skiing are also likely to trigger an attack.
Cough variant asthma type happens with coughing alone or with wheezing. The coughing variant asthma type can confuse the diagnosis of asthma and be confused with bronchitis and post nasal drip due to hay fever or sinus disease. This is because the primary symptom that is observed is coughing, and a great deal of coughing at night.
Occupational asthma type happens in response to a trigger from the workplace such as contaminants in the air, allergen; although the substances can be encountered in most workplaces it is more common in workers in manufacturing industries.
Nocturnal asthma type attacks happen between midnight and 8 am. Triggered by allergens in the home the sufferer may not recognize the asthma until they are awakened at night by wheezing and shortness of breath. There may or may not be a relationship between nocturnal and daytime asthma.
There are several asthma types that can be diagnosed and happen concurrently in people. The child-onset asthmatic may also have cough variant or exercise induced asthma type. Don’t diagnose yourself from personal reading. Instead, get a diagnosis and treatment plan from your physician.