Extrinsic Asthma – Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

Extrinsic asthma is classified as allergic asthma. It is an asthmatic response to inflammation and constriction in airways that inhibits breathing to allergy producing substances. It is easy to detect extrinsic asthma as it is related to exposure to allergens. Possible allergens include, pollen, mold and dust mites.


Following are some extrinsic asthma symptoms.

  • Chest pressure
  • Tightness in chest
  • Coughing
  • Pain in chest
  • Wheezing
  • Constricted airways
  • Symptoms worsen when exposed to cold air, inhaling smoke, fumes and dust.
  • Breathing problem after exercises
  • Rapid breathing
  • Mucus production increases in airways
  • Increase in blood IgE levels


Following are some underlying causes that cause extrinsic asthma.

    • Animal dander
    • Cockroach feces
    • Pollen
    • Dust Mites



There is no cure for extrinsic asthma. Several measures may be taken to limit the exposure, like limit outdoor activities. Asthma symptoms can be managed by medications like anti inflammatories, asthma inhalers and bronchodilators.

Following treatments are mentioned in several sources for curing extrinsic asthma.

  • Utilise asthma action plan and also self monitoring
  • Avoid certain medications, dust and pollen
  • Reliever medicines for symptomatic relief:
    • Ipratropium
    • Short acting β͞͞2 agonists, such as terbutaline, salbutamol
    • Oral corticosteroids
  • Drugs for preventing extrinsic asthma:
    • Cromolyns – nedocromil and cromoglycate. These are sometimes used in children.
    • Long acting β͞͞ agonists, such as eformotorol, salmeterol. These should be used along with inhaled corticosteroids.
    • Controlled release of theophylline. This is used in persistent asthma.
    • Inhaled corticosteroids like budesonide, fluticasone, ciclesonide, beclomethasone.
    • Leukotriene receptor agonists such as zafirlukast, montelukast. These medications are used for treating seasonal asthma and reduces inhaled steroids dose.
  • Hospitalization is required in serious condition.
    • Continuous flow of oxygen
    • Intravenous adrenaline
    • Intubation and ventilation. This is the last resort for exhaustion related respiratory arrest or severe asthma.
    • Intravenous salbutamol
    • Steroids like oral and intravenous

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *