Most people think of asthma as being one condition that causes difficulty breathing. Actually, there are several types of asthma, each with its own triggers, symptoms, and treatments.
The family nurse practitioners at FamilyCare of Kent, Washington will help you understand your asthma type and offer appropriate treatment. This may include inhalers, nebulizers, steroid asthma medications, leukotriene antagonists, and bronchodilators.
Allergic asthma is triggered by allergens such as pollen or pet dander. People with this type of asthma typically have a personal or family history of allergies, allergic rhinitis, hay fever, and/or eczema.
Seasonal allergic asthma is triggered by trees, grass, or flowers releasing pollen into the air. Some asthmatics suffer worse in the spring when there are more flowering plants. Others find their asthma worse in late summer/early autumn when ragweed and mold are more likely to cause problems.
Some people with asthma do not have allergies. They get the same symptoms and have similar changes in their airways, but their asthma has other triggers. Irritants include tobacco smoke, wood smoke, room deodorizers, pine odors, fresh paint, household cleaning products, cooking odors, and perfumes.
The common cold, the flu, or a sinus infection may also cause symptoms. Exercise, cold air, sudden changes in air temperature, even heartburn may trigger non-allergic asthma.
Exercise-induced asthma refers to symptoms triggered by physical activity. Exercising outdoors in the winter appears particularly bad for patients with this type of asthma. However, exercise can also trigger symptoms in people with other types of asthma.
This refers to asthma symptoms that seem worse in the middle of the night, typically between 2 and 4 am. That’s when levels of substances your body makes, like adrenaline and corticosteroids, both of which protect against asthma, are lowest.
Cough variant asthma refers to asthma that has coughing as the primary symptom rather than wheezing. It is frequently mistaken for other illnesses and may not be treated properly unless recognized. Those with cough variant asthma may only wheeze when they are quite ill, if they wheeze at all.
Visit FamilyCare of Kent’s patient education library to learn more about asthma treatment.
Our board-certified family nurse practitioners have more than 70 years of combined experience and thousands of happy patients. For more information or to schedule an asthma appointment, please use our online appointment request form or call FamilyCare of Kent in Washington at (253) 859-2273 (CARE) today.
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