The most common types of asthma are childhood asthma and adult-onset asthma. In the case of adult-onset asthma, symptoms typically appear around the age of 20 (onwards).
Other types of asthma include:
- Allergic asthma / extrinsic asthma: Allergens such as pet dander, food, mould, dust and pollen are triggers for this type of asthma. This type is commonly diagnosed with seasonal allergies.
- Non-allergic asthma or intrinsic asthma: Triggers for this type of asthma are not allergy-related, but rather include irritants such as cigarette smoke, burning wood, air pollution, air fresheners, cleaning products (household), perfumes and fragrances, viral illnesses and even cold air.
- Cough-variant asthma (CVA): Classic symptoms of wheezing and shortness of breath are not typical of this type of asthma. Instead, a persistent dry cough is commonly noted. CVA can lead to full-blown asthma attacks (more common asthma symptoms).
- Exercise-induced asthma (EIA): This type of asthma can affect people within minutes of starting an exercise activity and lasting between 10 and 15 minutes thereafter.
- Nocturnal asthma: As the name suggests, this type of asthma typically has symptoms which worsen at night. Triggers can include heartburn, dust mites, pet dander and even the body’s own natural sleep cycle.
- Occupational asthma: Dust, dyes, fumes, gases, industrial chemicals, animal proteins and rubber latex can trigger this type of asthma. Individuals most affected by this type of asthma typically work in industries such as farming, textiles, manufacturing and woodwork.