Asthma is characterized by airflow obstruction, increased mucus production, and increased inflammation in the airways. If you’ve ever experienced an asthma attack you know the feeling of struggling to catch your breath and coughing up mucus. But what about inflammation? There is one kind of inflammation, known as Type 2 inflammation, which is an immune system response that causes an intense response to inhaled irritants.
Asthma severity is classified into one of four categories: intermittent, persistent mild, persistent moderate, or persistent severe. Your severity classification is based on your asthma symptoms, its impact on your daily activity, lung function, how often you use your rescue medication, and how often you experience nighttime awakenings due to asthma. There is a link between Type 2 inflammation and increased asthma severity. About 50-70% asthmatics have Type 2 inflammation, along with 50% of individuals with nasal polyps, and 80% of individuals with atopic dermatitis. Type 2 inflammation has also been linked to chronic rhinosinusitis, aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and sleep apnea.
Controlling inflammation is an important strategy in asthma management. When a person has severe asthma it often requires several layers of medications and it can be hard to manage. If asthma has become difficult to manage and treat, talk with your asthma doctor about Type 2 inflammation. There may be a way to reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms. For additional information on this topic, visit Allergy & Asthma Network.