A condition in which a person's airways become inflamed, narrow and swell and produce extra mucus, which makes it difficult to breathe. Asthma can be minor or it can interfere with daily activities. In some cases, it may lead to a life-threatening attack
Asthma can usually be managed with rescue inhalers to treat symptoms (salbutamol) and controller inhalers that prevent symptoms (steroids). Severe cases may require longer-acting inhalers that keep the airways open (formoterol, salmeterol, tiotropium), as well as inhalant steroids.
The most common symptom of asthma is wheezing, a squealing or whistling sound made when you breathe.
Other asthma symptoms may include:
coughing, especially at night, when laughing, or during exercise
tightness in the chest
shortness of breath
anxiousness or panic
Allergic asthma (extrinsic asthma)
Extrinsic asthma is simply asthma caused by an allergic reaction, especially a chronic one. If your asthma is allergic, you will have higher levels of IgE (Immunoglobulin E) present in your blood test.
Nonallergic asthma (intrinsic asthma)
It is also called allergic asthma and is the most common form of asthma. Intrinsic asthma has a range of triggers, including weather conditions, exercise, infections, and stress. People may call it nonallergic asthma.
Occupational asthma is asthma that's caused by breathing in chemical fumes, gases, dust or other substances on the job. Occupational asthma can result from exposure to a substance you're sensitive to — causing an allergic or immunological response — or to an irritating toxic substance.
Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB)
Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction, (EIB), often known as exercise-induced asthma, is a narrowing of the airways causing difficulty moving air out of the lungs during exercise. If you have chronic asthma, your symptoms may be worse when you exercise.
It is also called aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD). Up to 20% of the asthmatic population is sensitive to aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and present with a triad of rhinitis, sinusitis, and asthma when exposed to the offending drugs. This syndrome is referred to as aspirin-induced asthma (AIA).
Nocturnal asthma, with symptoms like chest tightness, shortness of breath, cough, and wheezing at night, can make sleep impossible and leave you feeling tired and irritable during the day. These problems may affect your overall quality of life and make it more difficult to control your daytime asthma symptoms.