Asthma is a disease of the lungs in which the airways become blocked or narrowed causing breathing difficulty.
This chronic disease affects 20 million Americans. Asthma is commonly divided into two types: allergic (extrinsic)
asthma and non-allergic (intrinsic) asthma. There is still much research that needs to be done to fully understand
how to prevent, treat and cure asthma. But, with proper management, people can live healthy and active lives.
Allergic (extrinsic) asthma is characterized by symptoms that are triggered by an allergic reaction. Allergic asthma
is airway obstruction and inflammation that is partially reversible with medication. Allergic asthma is the most
common form of asthma, affecting over 50% of the 20 million asthma sufferers. Many of the symptoms of allergic
and non-allergic asthma are the same (coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or rapid breathing, and chest
tightness). However, allergic asthma is triggered by inhaled allergens such as dust mite allergen, pet dander,
pollen, mold, etc. resulting in asthma symptoms.
Non-Allergic (intrinsic) asthma is triggered by factors not related to allergies. Like allergic asthma, non-allergic
asthma is characterized by airway obstruction and inflammation that is at least partially reversible with medication,
however symptoms in this type of asthma are NOT associated with an allergic reaction. Many of the symptoms of
allergic and non-allergic asthma are the same (coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or rapid breathing, and
chest tightness), but non-allergic asthma is triggered by other factors such as anxiety, stress, exercise, cold air, dry
air, hyperventilation, smoke, viruses or other irritants. In non-allergic asthma, the immune system is not involved in
Asthma & Acid Reflux: Up to 75 percent of people with asthma suffer from GERD.