Types of Asthma

by Katelyn Schwanke
(last updated September 5, 2008)

Although the body reacts similarly in every type of asthma attack, there are a variety of different triggers. When your physician makes an initial diagnosis he may mention something about exercised induced asthma, occupationally induced asthma, stress induced asthma, or allergen induced asthma. As you might expect, each type is triggered by unique stimuli, many of these stimuli can be controlled so that you can limit the number of attacks that you experience.

Exercise induced asthma is inflammation of small tubes in the lungs when you exert yourself physically. Although the name of this type of asthma would seemingly indicate that physical activity should be avoided, this is not true! You can be sure that the out of breath feeling you experience post exercise is asthma (rather than a result of being out of shape) by timing how long it takes for you to catch your breath once you have stopped exercising. A person who is either physically fit or out of shape should begin to breath normally in less than 5 minutes. If you suffer from exercise induced asthma you may take as long as 15 minutes. Exercise induced asthma should not discourage you from getting exercise; if you take a few precautions you will protect yourself from attacks and illness. When exercising, be sure to carry your inhaler, do not run in cold weather, warm up and cool down and continue to exercise if your symptoms do not worsen or cause you to be unable to speak.

Occupationally induced asthma is when you find yourself wheezing and coughing as a result of irritating fumes, gases or dust in the workplace. If you are unable to change jobs it is important that you inform your employer, ask for more information on how to handle chemicals, gases or fumes better and ask your doctor about getting a prescription for an inhaler.

Stress induced asthma is exactly what its name indicates. Some can experience asthma-like symptoms (wheezing, coughing etc.) when reacting to a stressful event. Speak to your doctor about breathing exercises and positive ways to reduce or handle stress in your life.

The last type of asthma is allergen induced asthma. If you have been diagnosed with this type of asthma you may have an allergy to pet dander, pollen or dust. These irritants cause inflammation in the lungs and inhibit the flow of oxygen in your body. Speak to your doctor about a prescription inhaler and try to clear your work area and home of whatever irritation causes your coughing and wheezing.

Being properly informed on which type of asthma you have will be crucial in your efforts to live a healthy and happy life. Speak to your doctor today!

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