What are the 4 Categories of Asthma?

May 18, 2022

There are four categories when it comes to asthma, and they are based on their severity. Asthma causes inflammation in the airway, which can make it difficult to breathe. Asthma attacks can be very severe and even life-threatening in some cases. It’s important to always have an inhaler with you to be prepared for an attack.

If you think you may have asthma or notice your symptoms getting worse, visit AFC Urgent Care Bedford. Our providers can give recommendations for the treatment of symptoms. If your symptoms become an emergency, please visit your local emergency room as soon as possible. Our walk-in center can treat all urgent medical conditions.


Symptoms of Asthma

Most people with asthma will experience all of the symptoms, but some may be more severe than others. It’s important to know what triggers your asthma to avoid any serious attacks. There may also be certain conditions that make symptoms worse.

The common symptoms of asthma include:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms may also get worse at night, early in the morning, or when the weather is cold. Some patients have found symptoms to come and go over time. Many people have asthma as children, but it’s possible to develop it as an adult. Symptoms may also get worse, along with a cold or flu.


Four Categories of Asthma

According to the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP), there are four categories of asthma.


Intermittent asthma has mild symptoms that generally do not disrupt everyday life. Attacks are infrequent, and lungs are considered “normal” when not having an attack. With intermittent asthma, symptoms occur less than twice per week, and nighttime symptoms occur less than twice per month.

Mild Persistent

Similar to intermittent, someone with mild persistent asthma had lungs that are considered “normal” when not having an asthma attack. Symptoms occur three to six times per week, and nighttime symptoms occur three to four times per month. In most cases, mild persistent asthma affects one’s daily life.

Moderate Persistent

For someone with moderate persistent asthma, their symptoms affect their daily life and occur every day. Attacks impact daily activities, and nighttime symptoms occur at least once per week, but not every night. Lung function test results are abnormal.

Severe Persistent

Lastly, severe persistent asthma is considered the worst and has the most severe symptoms. They occur throughout every day and severely impact daily activities. Nighttime symptoms can sometimes occur every night but at least occur “frequently.” Lung function test results are abnormal.

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