What is the Difference Between Allergic and Nonallergic Asthma?
Asthma is just asthma, right? In fact, there are different types of asthma and the type you are diagnosed with will dictate how you manage it.
Like the name implies, allergic asthma is caused by an allergic reaction. Common symptom triggers are pollen, dust, pet dander, and strong odors. Exposure to these types of irritants can result in wheezing, chest tightness, difficulty breathing, and coughing. You may also experience itchy or rashy skin, eye irritation, and congestion.
If you ingest something that is a trigger, you might have facial or tongue swelling or a more serious form of allergic reaction, anaphylaxis.
Nonallergic asthma is asthma that isn’t triggered by an allergic reaction. A less common form of asthma, it usually develops later in life and is more severe. Doctors are unsure what causes this type of asthma, but studies have shown that stress, viral respiratory infections, exercise, and food additives may contribute to its development.
Identifying triggers for this type of asthma can be more difficult so it is important that you work with your healthcare provider to treat it.
Why some people develop asthma and others don’t isn’t fully known. It could be due to genetics, the environment, or just pure luck. While an exact cause can’t be pinpointed, there are several common factors that are thought to be linked to asthma.
Cause and risk factors for developing asthma include:
- A family history of asthma
- Occupational exposure or air pollution
- Having allergies
- Asthma Medication
Whichever type of asthma you have, you can treat it with asthma medication. The most popular form of treatment is with reliever and preventer inhalers. Reliever inhalers are devices that provide immediate relief for acute asthma attacks. They are meant to be used at the onset of any asthma symptoms and can easily be carried around with you throughout the day.
Preventer inhalers are used on a regular basis and are not meant for sudden asthma attacks. Instead, when used every day, they help reduce any airway inflammation or sensitivity.
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