Asthma & Allergic Asthma

About Asthma:

Asthma is a chronic and serious lung disease. It causes swelling and narrowing of the airways, making breathing difficult. Asthma has no cure. But most people with asthma can live active lives with the appropriate asthma treatment plan and an ongoing partnership with their doctor.

About Allergic Asthma:

Allergic asthma is the most common type, affecting around 6 out of 10 people with asthma. Many symptoms of allergic asthma and non-allergic asthma are the same, but the triggers are different. Allergic asthma is triggered by allergens. If you have allergic asthma, your asthma symptoms may happen when you breathe in an allergen, such as dust or pet dander.

See how allergic asthma and non-allergic asthma are similar and different.

Allergic Asthma
  • Symptoms are associated with an allergic reaction.
  • May be triggered by allergens like dust, pet dander, or cockroaches.
Symptoms
may include:
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
    or difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Tightening or pain
    in the chest
Non-Allergic Asthma
  • Symptoms are not associated with an allergic reaction.
  • May be triggered by exercise, stress, certain medicines, cold or dry air, airway infections, smoke and other irritants.

If you think you have allergic asthma, be sure to talk to your doctor about your symptoms. You can get tested to see if your asthma is triggered by allergens.

Is your asthma under control?

No matter what type of asthma you have, an important step in managing your asthma is to find out if your asthma is under control. Uncontrolled asthma symptoms can have a bigger impact than you may realize. And if you have had a recent asthma attack, this may mean you are more likely to have another one.

Your asthma may not be under control if one or more of the following are true for you.*
Do you:

  • Have symptoms more than 2 days a week?
  • Limit or avoid daily activities?
  • Wake up at night because of coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath?
  • Use your rescue inhaler more than 2 times a week?
  • Have peak flow or FEV1 readings below your personal best?
  • Need emergency medical care due to asthma symptoms more than once a year?

If you think you may have uncontrolled asthma, it’s important to talk to your doctor as soon as possible.

*Based on the 2007 EPR—3 NHLBI Guidelines

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