Asthma is a common lung condition that causes breathing problems - and it can range in severity.

It is World Asthma Day today, May 3, a day that seeks to raise awareness about the condition and how it impacts people globally.

The event has gone on for more than a decade and happens annually, with the goal of spreading information about asthma, and the estimated 300 million people that it affects globally.

The condition can be serious, and even fatal with four people dying every day in the UK because of an asthma attack, according Asthma + Lung UK.

Here are the most common types of asthma and early symptoms that sufferers may experience for World Asthma Day.

While it most commonly appears in childhood, asthma can develop at any point of a person's life, so it's important to know the symptoms.

The most common types of asthma

Some of the most common types of asthma include:

  • Allergic asthma - this can be triggered by dust mites or pollen

  • Exercise-induced asthma - this type of asthma is triggered by exercise

  • Occupational asthma - this is triggered by inhaling irritants in the workplace

  • Adult-onset asthma - When someone is diagnosed with asthma after the age of 20 it is known as adult-onset asthma

  • Childhood asthma - Most children with childhood asthma will develop asthma symptoms before the age of five

  • Nocturnal (nighttime) asthma - this is when asthma symptoms present themselves at night

  • Seasonal asthma - This asthma triggers at certain times of the year due to allergens

  • Cough variant asthma - With this type of asthma the main symptom is a dry cough

  • Non-allergic asthma - This is a type of asthma that isn't related to allergy triggers like pollen or dust

  • Severe asthma - This is the most serious type of asthma

  • Brittle asthma - This is a rare form of severe asthma and can suddenly develop into life-threatening attacks

Asthma warning signs

Boy using an asthma inhaler
It's important to know the symptoms to avoid an asthma attack

Some of the symptoms of asthma can include:

  • A frequent cough

  • Shortness of breath

  • Wheezing or coughing after exercise

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Feeling tired or weak

  • Signs of allergies like a running nose, sore throat or headache

  • A tight chest

Many things can cause similar symptoms to asthma, but if you have one or more of these symptoms and they present at specific times or in specific places you should consider getting tested.

If you have an asthma attack, it is important to remain calm and sit up straight. If you have an inhaler you should puff it every 30 to 60 seconds.

If you do not feel better after 10 puffs or do not have an inhaler, you should call an ambulance immediately.

Does asthma make Covid-19 worse?

Asthma sufferers are not more likely to catch Covid-19, however they may be more likely to develop serious illness if they contract the virus.

the Centres for Disease Control centre says that Asthma suffers have a higher chance of hospitalisation compared to the rest of the population. Studies suggest that those with non-allergic asthma may be at slightly greater risk.

If you have asthma and are concerned about the risks of Covid-19, be sure to contact your GP.

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