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Asthma Symptoms and Causes

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Authored by Rodney Southern in Diseases 
Published on 04-03-2009

Understanding the symptoms and causes of asthma can help you breathe easier. Many people are under the impression that the only symptoms of asthma are wheezing and difficulty in breathing. While these are in fact symptoms of asthma, they are more commonly associated with asthmatic attacks not asthma itself. If you or a loved one suffers from asthma, it is imperative to understand asthma fully. Asthma has many causes and in this article I will explain the various types and its associated symptoms.

Allergic asthma is by far the most common type of asthma among individuals suffering from the condition. Preventing the symptoms of allergen triggered asthma can be as simple as avoiding the allergens. Pet dander, pollen, dust mites, smoke, and even some perfumes can trigger the symptoms of asthma in certain cases. Allergic asthma occurs due to the fact that the individual’s airways are sensitized to the allergens. When the body is exposed to these allergens the asthmatic symptoms can be aggravated. The symptoms of allergic asthma include wheezing, shortness of breath, and excessive coughing. Undergoing an allergy test can assist you in determining your allergies, and in doing so will give you a better understanding of what to avoid.

Asthma symptoms that present themselves during periods of physical activity may be the sign of exercise-induced asthma. Exercise-induced asthma occurs by inhaling cold dry air. The symptoms of this type of asthma are wheezing, tightening of the chest making it more difficult to breathe, and fatigue. Exercise induced asthma can be easily prevented by the use of inhalers prior to working out.

Another type of asthma is nocturnal asthma. Nocturnal asthma is characterized by the occurrence of asthmatic symptoms while trying to sleep. There is no known cure for nocturnal asthma, and there is also no specific cause. Many believe that the asthma symptoms of nocturnal asthma are spurred by an increase of exposure to allergens. Delayed release and longer lasting steroids are typical sufficient in preventing asthma symptoms in nocturnal asthma.

When asthma symptoms occur at work, it could be considered occupational asthma. If your asthma symptoms tend to be more frequent while you are at work, chances are this would be the case. Occupational asthma is typically caused by exposure to irritants. These irritants induce asthma symptoms upon frequent exposure. If you are experiencing occupational asthma, medication may help. If your asthma symptoms persist despite medication, you may ask to be moved to another area to avoid the irritants.

The last type of asthma is cough-variant asthma. If you have a persistent dry cough that seems to never go away, it may be asthma. Cough-variant asthma symptoms may occur after allergen exposure, or after a cold. Cough-variant asthma is difficult to diagnose as typical asthma symptoms may not present themselves, leaving the cough as the only symptom.

Asthmatic symptoms can be better prevented once the type is diagnosed. Knowledge of the various symptoms with each can also aid in prevention. The asthma symptoms wheezing and tightening of the chest are common in the majority of all asthma types. Ask your physician about other ways to help in you prevent the occurrence of your asthma symptoms.

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