While these formal names may not be familiar, extrinsic asthma and intrinsic asthma are technical terms for allergic and non-allergic asthma. Both forms of asthma present the same types of symptoms, but the way they occur is different.

Extrinsic Asthma

Also known as allergic asthma, this is the most common type of asthma. It's triggered by seasonal and/or indoor allergens. When you breathe allergens such as dust mites, animal dander, or mold, your body produces an antibody called Immunoglobulin E (IgE) that leads to inflammation, tightness, and excess mucus production. All of these changes can make it difficult to move air in or out of your lungs.

The best way to prevent allergic asthma is to allergy proof your home and workplace. If your allergies don't respond to medications, consider undergoing immunotherapy (allergy shots) to gradually build up your tolerance to allergens.

Intrinsic Asthma

With intrinsic asthma, you'll experience the same types of symptoms but they won't be related to an immune system reaction. Instead, symptoms occur when your airways are irritated. This can be caused by weather changes, exercise, illness, anxiety, smoke, fumes, and scented products.

When non-allergic asthma is your problem, avoid germs, smoke, and strong. Also, steer clear of extreme weather changes, poor air conditions, and don't engage in strenuous exercise without warming up or cooling down first.

When Allergic and Non-Allergic Asthma Co-Exist

The best way to identify what type of asthma you have, see your doctor. You may need to undergo allergy testing to determine if your immune system is involved in your condition. In many cases, it's not that simple since asthma is often caused by both allergic and non-allergic triggers. If you have both types of asthma, you may need to make an extra effort to avoid potential allergic and non-allergic triggers.




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