While asthma is commonly referred to as one disease, there are many different kinds. All types of asthma involve airway inflammation. However, different patterns of symptoms and the way the body processes triggers dictate which type of asthma a person has. Please note that while there are many types of asthma, but the two most common are allergic asthma and non-allergic asthma.
Allergic asthma is the most common type of asthma. It affects 90% of kids with childhood asthma and 50% of adults with asthma. Symptoms appear alongside allergens (allergy triggers) like dust mites, pollen, or mold. Allergens that can cause an asthmatic reaction include:
- Windblown pollen
- Mold spores
- Animal dander
- Dust mite feces
- Cockroach feces
Allergens are not the only thing that can make allergic asthma worse, however; irritants may trigger an asthma attack even if they do not produce an allergic reaction.
Common irritants include:
- Air pollution
- Strong odors
- Dusty rooms
Non-allergic asthma, also known as intrinsic-type asthma, means that suffers will experience asthmatic symptoms following an infection in the chest. Because the infections are typically viral, antibiotics are not useful in promoting healing. It may also be provoked by bacterial infections, which are often associated with sinusitis or bronchitis. In these infections, antibiotics are essential.
Symptoms can be provoked by weather changes, cold air, physical activity, indoor and outdoor pollutants, or perfumes and other strong odors. Non-allergy asthma is not caused by allergies. Thus, individuals with this condition produce negative allergy skin tests.