What Is The Difference Between Allergic And Non-Allergic Asthma?

Allergic and non-allergic asthma can be caused because of different symptoms and triggers. Know the difference between these conditions.  

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: May 04, 2022Updated at: May 04, 2022
What Is The Difference Between Allergic And Non-Allergic Asthma?

We all have some idea about asthma and how can it affect your health. This lung disease is much anticipated and is known to create breathing problems throughout. Asthma appears to be a chronic lung condition that could affect the airways and become inflamed. There are majorly two types of asthma that could happen to people, allergic and non-allergic. It is also known as intrinsic and extrinsic asthma. However, in any type of asthma some symptoms or signs remain same- it causes wheezing, coughing and chest tightness. Let us know in detail about these two types of asthma and know causes for the same.  

Allergic vs Non-Allergic Asthma: Difference 

Intrinsic or extrinsic asthma that are also known as allergic or non-allergic asthma are majorly different because of the triggers that leads to this lung problem. The difference between triggers in asthma can vary in different individuals. The treatment techniques are quite similar to each other but prevention strategies might vary according to the cause of asthma. We have with us Dr. Sumeet Nigam, General Physician from Sahara Hospital, Lucknow to understand about triggers that results to this lung disease. 


Triggers for Allergic Asthma 

One of the major differences that comes to play are triggers. In case of allergic asthma, there could be multiple reasons for affecting the lungs. Allergens that trigger allergic asthma could possibly be the following- 

  • Pollens 
  • Mold 
  • Dust mites 
  • Pet dander 

Apart from this, there could be other triggers as well such as chemicals, strong pungent smells or some other smell that could cause it. People that have intrinsic asthma need to be very careful with the allergens in order to prevent asthma attack. 

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Triggers for Non-allergic Asthma 

In case of non-allergic or intrinsic asthma, environmental factors do not have a major role. Instead, there are some vital problems that are associated with non-allergic asthma. Here are some causes of asthma for the following condition- 

  • Stress 
  • Cold 
  • Humidity 
  • Pollution 
  • Irritants such as smoke 
  • Respiratory infections like cold, flu and sinus infections 
  • Exercise 

This is not just limited to these factors but also have a number of unpredictable reasons that might trigger non-allergic asthma. Intrinsic asthma can also be caused because of some unknown cause.  

Which Asthma is more common? 

Majority of people fall for allergic asthma and it is one of the most common forms of lung disease. Around 60-90% of people have some kind of allergic asthma. Intrinsic or non-allergic asthma just happens for around rest 10-40% at the maximum. This type of asthma occurs majorly in females than in males. Intrinsic asthma is usually caused in the later stages of life than extrinsic asthma which occurs more often from childhood.  


Treatment of Allergic and Non-allergic Asthma 

As far as treatment is concerned, both types of asthma have similar treatment methods. By going through some lifestyle changes, avoiding triggers and anticipating in a particular way, symptoms of asthma can be managed. 

Reducing triggers 

Identifying the trigger is the main step towards treatment of asthma. Once you know about the cause of asthma, it becomes easier to tackle it. Especially in case of allergic asthma, it is very crucial because it can prevent asthma attack from occurring. Identifying the cause of asthma helps to reduce exposure to allergens which then helps to control the condition. Here are some steps that could help you reduce asthma symptoms in people.  

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Medicines for asthma do not treat the condition as a whole but helps to cure the flare-ups that occur in this condition. Here are some causes for extrinsic and intrinsic asthma. Medications for asthma include the following- 

  1. Short acting bronchodilators 
  2. Long acting medications  
  3. Corticosteroids 
  4. Omalizumad

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