A Comprehensive Guide: Types of asthma and its do’s & don’ts

Do you often feel suffocated and pain in your chest? 

Pay attention- it could be asthma! 

Around 262 million people around the world were affected by asthma in 2019, leading to around 4,61,000 deaths- according to WHO. Often starting from mild symptoms like breathing difficulty, minor chest pain, coughing, or wheezing, when this condition turns into a chronic and serious condition, can’t be predicted. 

To protect yourself from this breathing disorder, today through this blog, we will provide you with valuable insights related to different types of asthma, and natural measures to overcome them. 

Without further ado, let’s start!


What is asthma?

Asthma is a respiratory disease that mainly affects your respiratory system. The airways that transfer air to the lungs become inflamed and narrow, which eventually makes it difficult for a person to breathe. 

Not being age or gender-specific, asthma can affect both men and women, infants, kids, youngsters, or aged people. Once started the cycle of asthma complications starts to get worse and worse, and the patient often becomes all dependent on inhalers, and medications. 

But not always! 

In Ayurveda, which is a 5000+ years Indian healing pathy, certain tips and tricks are mentioned through which one can easily manage asthma. It mainly involves certain asthma herbal remedies, dietary precautions, breathing exercises, and stress-management techniques.


How many types of asthma are there?

Depending upon varying causative factors, triggers, and symptoms, asthma can be mainly classified into the following types: 

Intermittent asthma

When the symptoms of asthma are very irregular and come and go for a very long time to time, then such a condition is termed “Intermittent asthma.” This type of asthma can easily be treated following proper medications and precautions. 

Persistent asthma

People with persistent asthma experience complications like wheezing, chest tightness, breathing difficulty, etc. quite often, say- twice a week. Depending upon its severity, it can be of further 3 sub-types; mild, moderate, and severe. 

The type-mild and moderate can be managed with certain asthma home remedies, and medical treatment but the symptoms of severe persistent asthma haunt the patients all day and night and, thus type is quite irreversible. 

Allergic asthma

Some of you might have already understood this type as its name is already clearing itself. When asthma symptoms are induced by a hyperimmune response to certain allergens, then it is called allergic asthma. 

Different people may be allergic to different types of substances/allergens such as pollen, dust, fumes, pet waste, dander, fur, chemicals, etc. Coming in contact, or exposure to these allergens may trigger their asthma symptoms. 

Non-allergic asthma

Also known as non-atopic asthma, this type of asthma is not induced by any allergens. It is less common but more serious than the former type, i.e.; allergic asthma. 

Although, there are no definite triggers or causes behind this type of asthma, However, the experts are of the opinion that non-allergic asthma may arise due to weather conditions, excessive stress, or some sort of respiratory infection.

Asthma-COPD overlap syndrome

It is a condition where you experience symptoms of both asthma as well as COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Both diseases mainly affect the functioning of your lungs and cause breathing problems for the patient.    

In most of the cases, the same treatment procedure and medicines are advised to the patients. However, self-medication and negligence towards using an inhaler in case of emergency are strictly prohibited for all types of asthma. 

Nighttime (nocturnal) asthma

Although, nocturnal asthma shares identical characteristics with other types of asthma, the major difference is that the symptoms of nocturnal asthma are observed during night. That’s the reason it is called “nighttime asthma.” 

There could be multiple factors that may contribute to this type of asthma such as a congested sleeping environment, allergens in your bedroom, hormone secretions, improper sleeping position, or wrong dietary choices for dinner. Apart from breathing difficulties, the patient also experiences trouble sleeping and thus stays fatigued throughout the next few days. 

Occupational asthma

We have also seen the patients, who encounter asthma symptoms only at their workplace. Well, in this case, it's not them but the environment where they work. This type of asthma is mainly seen among individuals who work in, or around irritating substances. 

Delighted to mention that occupational asthma is completely reversible in particular cases. All that the patients are required to maintain a safe distance from the allergens, and if possible completely avoid those triggers. 

Exercise-induced asthma

This type of asthma mainly occurs after doing any strenuous physical activity, or exercise. Normally the patients experience shortness of breath, chest pain, and sweating that may last for the next 10-15 minutes. 

In medical terminology, it is known as Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. The common reason behind this type of asthma is that when you perform exercises or exhausting activities, your airways get squeezed, and become narrow. 

Cough-variant asthma

The type is mainly characterized by one single symptom which is a dry and non-productive cough. The patient with cough-variant asthma may not necessarily have symptoms of traditional asthma such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or wheezing. 

However, if not treated timely, CVA may turn into a chronic condition, and encompass complications of other types of asthma.  

Childhood asthma

Asthma which is mainly seen among infants, toddlers, or kids is considered as childhood asthma. The lungs of children can be easily inflamed once exposed to allergens, triggers, or respiratory infections. 

In most cases, when the kid starts to grow, the signs of childhood asthma start to fade on their own. However, in certain instances, childhood asthma may be rigid and may stay until adulthood, or even much longer. 

Adult-onset asthma

This type of asthma mainly starts to develop during adolescence/adulthood. Mostly this occurs in those who in their early childhood have experienced the above-mentioned type of asthma, i.e; childhood asthma. 

However, the patient experiences quite similar symptoms as the other types, mainly; chest tightness, breathing difficulty, wheezing, and sometimes cough. 

Eosinophilic asthma

It is a rare type of asthma that is seen in only 1-2% of asthmatic patients. The high levels of white blood cells called eosinophils in the airways of the lungs is the prime cause behind this kind of asthma. 

In the normal state, the motive of these WBCs is to guard your body against respiratory infections. But sometimes, these cells become overactive and start to cause inflammation inside the body, including the lungs. 

Ayurveda For Asthma

In Ayurveda, asthma is called Tamaka Swasa which falls under the category of Swasa rogas. The intake of cold, dry, oily, processed food items (Virudth ahaara), and imbalance of Kapha dosha (high key), Vata, and Pitta Dosha (low key) are believed to be the major causes responsible for this disease. 

The best part about Ayurveda is that it not merely focuses on how, or why a disease arises but it also shows great devotion to curing the disease and preventing its reoccurrence. 

Countless asthmatic patients who opted for the path of Ayurvedic treatment have successfully recovered, and are now living an asthma-free life. All that it takes is just some commitment and dedication towards certain medical, dietary, and lifestyle adjustments. 

Do’s for asthmatic patients

Suggested by experts 

    1. Do stick to your medications for Recovery: Show a proper commitment and dedication towards your routine medications. Take them on time, and as per the manner prescribed by your doctor, healthcare professional, or Ayurvedic practitioner for healthy recovery. 
    2. Do make & follow an asthma action plan: Considering your unique triggers, and the type of asthma you are dealing with, prepare an action action plan followed by breathing practices, healthy dietary choices, and lifestyle adjustments. 
    3. Do drink herbal water: Herbs such as tulsi, haridra, bhringraj, kali mirch, mulethi, etc are best for respiratory health. Prepare herbal water using these natural cures for asthma and sip them throughout the day. Also, prefer lukewarm water instead of chill/fizzy water. 
    4. Do eat healthy: Help yourself with proper care, and precaution toward your routine meals. Always take warm, and fresh meals. An ideal diet for asthma surely includes boiled vegetables, herbal kadhas, and soups.  
    5. Do wear a mask: While going out in pollution, or somewhere you are likely to encounter exposure to your allergens, or triggers, always wear a mask. It will prevent you from particles entering your respiratory system, and triggering your asthma symptoms. 
    6. Do practice yoga, and breathing techniques: To make your lungs more strong, and air-absorbing, there are several yoga asanas for asthma and breath-improving techniques available. The routine performance of Anulom-Vilom, Bharamari, and Ujjayi Pranayama for at least 5-10 minutes can help the patients a lot. 
    7. Do have fresh air while sleeping: Make sure that the place where you sleep has fresh and pure air. Prefer sleeping in open-air instead of congested areas. You can even open the windows of your room for fresh air to pass out, and circulate. 

Don'ts for asthmatic patients

Suggested by experts 

    1. Don’t neglect: Never ever show any negligence towards your routine medication and usage of inhalers. If your condition is serious/chronic, always keep your inhaler handy. 
    2. Don’t drink or smoke: Complete avoid drinking alcohol, and smoking. The use of these harmful substances, results in respiratory inflammation, or irritation.  
    3. Don’t eat unhealthy food: Strictly say a big no to all fried, oily, processed, junk, stale food, and soda-based soft drinks. Also, avoid dairy products, non-vegetarian food, dry fruits, and foods that are considered to be cold in nature, called foods with Thandi Taasir in Sanskrit. 
    4. Don’t overstress: Be easy on yourself. Don’t take unnecessary tension, or stress, as they can also contribute to your breathing complications and trigger asthma. 
    5. Don’t come in contact with our triggers: Avoid all kinds of contact, and exposure to your asthma allergens, and triggers. For instance, if you know pet fur/dander triggers your asthma, then it’s better to maintain a distance from pets. 
    6. Don’t indulge in strenuous activities: Repeating again as it is necessary- don’t be harsh on yourself. Prefer not performing physically exhausting activities such as long-races, or intense exercises. 
    7. Don’t use perfumes or scented products: Say no to all chemical-based products, especially perfumes, scents, and fragrances. Once these products enter your respiratory system via mouth/nose, they immediately start to cause breathing problems. 

Conclusion 

Remember, breath is the base of your life, and care is your duty. 

Be wise, and choose Ayurveda for a happy, healthy, and asthma-free living. 

Article By:

Dr. Sharda Ayurveda

At Dr. Sharda Ayurveda emphasis is made on treating the patients with the power of Ayurveda and traveling along with them in the path of natural and safe healing. The satisfaction and recovery of our patients is our utmost priority.

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