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Asthma Classification: What Are The Different Types of Asthma?

Medically reviewed by Mae Charisse Antalan, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Jen Mallari · Updated Feb 16, 2023

Asthma Classification: What Are The Different Types of Asthma?

What is asthma? What are the different types of asthma classification?

Asthma is a disease of the lungs that affects both children and adults, although it is more common in children. It mainly affects a person’s breathing due to swelling and an abundance of mucus in the airways. Asthma can either fall under being mild, moderate, or severe. There are different types of asthma. Read on to learn more.

A person with asthma may experience the following:

  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Coughing during the night or early in the morning
  • Breathing difficulties.

Types of asthma classification

There are different types of asthma based on kinds of triggers, or how a patient is affected. These include:

Types of asthma classification: Adult-onset asthma

This type of asthma only occurs in adults.. The cause of adult-onset asthma include being exposed to triggers as an adult, and being afflicted by viral infections that may trigger asthma symptoms.

Types of asthma classification: Allergic and non-allergic asthma

Allergic asthma is caused by allergens. Common allergens include pollen, dust, food chemicals, and mold. Studies have shown that around 80% of people that have allergic asthma also have other allergies.

Non-allergic asthma is not triggered by allergens, but is instead triggered by other environmental factors, such as air particles that come from smoke, viruses, perfumes, and the fumes coming from cleaning products.

A person may have both allergic and non-allergic asthma at the same time, meaning, asthma attacks can be triggered by both allergens and other particles.

Asthma-COPD overlap

This type of asthma is considered to be severe and difficult to treat. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of diseases that cause blockages in the airflow and trouble breathing.

Although it is uncommon for people with asthma to develop COPD, or for those with COPD to develop asthma, there is a possibility for a person to get these two diseases at the same time.

Chronic asthma

This type of asthma affects  your lungs long-term. People with chronic asthma experience inflammation and narrowing in their airways from time to time.

Exercise-induced asthma

People who are diagnosed with this type of asthma may be triggered by partaking in physical activities. They may experience narrowing of their airways when they perform physical exercises.

Different types of asthma: Occupational asthma

In this case,  irritants come from an affected person’s work environment. These may include dust and chemical fumes. If a person diagnosed with this kind of asthma continues to work in a place where there are lots of air irritants, then their condition will most likely worsen.

Bronchial asthma

Among the different types of asthma is bronchial asthma. This type of asthma makes a person experience recurrent wheezing attacks. Others experience chronic shortness of breath and instances where they feel out of breath.

Nocturnal asthma

This type of asthma happens to a person during nighttime due to irritants such as dust, the cold air, pet hair, dust mites, the bedding, and stuffed toys.

Reactive airways

People who have reactive airways usually have not been diagnosed with asthma. They do however, experience symptoms of asthma such as wheezing or having bronchial spasms.

Seasonal asthma

This type of asthma gets triggered due to irritants that are present during a particular season. For example, there is an abundance of pollen during spring in western countries, so some people might experience asthma due to this.

Types of asthma classification: Viral asthma

The main causes of viral asthma would be colds, infection in the upper respiratory tract, and influenza.

Thunderstorm asthma

In this case, a thunderstorm may trigger a patient’s asthma. This occurs when thunderstorms carry grass pollen in the wind. Once these irritants reach the respiratory system, they may cause asthma symptoms. This may lead to severe cases of asthma.

Diagnosed ‘Severe asthma’

People with this kind of asthma experience more intense and recurring symptoms.

Types of asthma classification: Silent asthma

People do not produce a wheezing sound when they are having an asthma attack or experiencing asthma symptoms. This may potentially be life-threatening as being unable to wheeze means that air is no longer moving in and out of the lungs.

Key takeaway

Asthma results in having trouble breathing. It has many different triggers, and occurs with various levels of severity, leading to many different types of asthma. If you believe you have asthma, consult with a medical professional to ensure that you receive the right treatment.

Learn more about Asthma here.


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Mae Charisse Antalan, MD

General Practitioner

Written by Jen Mallari · Updated Feb 16, 2023

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