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Difference Between Chronic & Acute Asthma

If you’ve got asthma, you already know that it can be a real pain when you’re having an attack. The symptoms can be debilitating, and it’s hard to go about your day-to-day life.

If you’ve been diagnosed with asthma, it’s important to know the difference between acute and chronic asthma. Don’t make the mistake of confusing the two. Both are not the same thing and are treated differently.

While it’s true that both conditions cause shortness of breath and airway tightening, there are some key differences. The two conditions require different treatment and management.

Understanding the difference between chronic and acute asthma can help you manage your condition better. Read on to find out more about the symptoms, treatment, and prognosis for each type of asthma.

Acute Asthma

Acute asthma is short-lived and usually caused by an allergic reaction or infection. It’s often accompanied by a cough and wheezing, but it can also come on without warning. Acute asthma symptoms are generally more severe than those of chronic asthma, and they require immediate medical attention.

Chronic Asthma

Chronic asthma is a condition that requires long-term treatment. It can also cause symptoms that are ongoing and severe. Chronic asthma usually develops over time, as opposed to acute asthma, which is sudden and unexpected.

You can also experience a flare-up of chronic asthma if you haven’t been taking your medications properly or if you’ve been exposed to an allergen or irritant. Chronic asthma can also be linked to other lung diseases like lung cancer or emphysema.


Acute Asthma: Acute asthma symptoms are more severe and appear suddenly after exposure to environmental factors like pollen or dust mites. You might experience coughing spells that last hours or days without relief. Your breathing will also be faster than normal. For some people, it’s hard to sleep through the night because of coughing spells.

Chronic Asthma: Chronic asthma symptoms are usually milder than acute symptoms. You might experience coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath. The symptoms may not be noticed unless you have an attack.


Acute Asthma: Acute asthma can be treated with fast-acting, short-term medications that open up the airways. You may also be given medication to reduce inflammation and calm your symptoms until your asthma is under control. Your doctor might also suggest using a nebulizer machine to help you breathe easier during an acute asthma attack.

Chronic Asthma: This condition is usually treated with long-term medications that prevent and reduce inflammation in the airways. Because there are so many different types of medications available, people with chronic asthma need to work closely with their doctors. This way, they can find the right treatment plan for your individual needs.


The prognosis of asthma depends on a few different factors. Below are some of the most important ones.


The younger you are when you’re diagnosed with asthma, the more likely your body will recover completely. However, the development of asthma on adults later in life will usually result in long-term conditions and may not respond well to treatment.


The severity of your symptoms also plays a role in determining whether or not you’ll be able to control your asthma. If your condition is mild, it might be easier for you to manage than if it were severe.


The type of asthma you have can also affect the outcome of your treatment. Acute asthma usually has a good prognosis, but it can be life-threatening if not treated.

If you have chronic asthma, your prognosis is also generally good. However, severe asthma that does not respond to treatment can lead to complications such as infections and lung damage.


Another factor affecting prognosis is whether or not you’ve had asthma. If it’s your first time experiencing asthma symptoms, your chances of getting better are good.

But if you’ve had previous bouts with the condition and it returns again, then there’s a greater chance that this will become your new normal. It will require ongoing medical attention and management strategies to keep it under control.


One of the major factors affecting prognosis has to do with where you live. Suppose you live in an urban area with higher levels of pollutants. In that case, there’s a greater chance that this could affect your health negatively. 

In other words, the condition will likely become more severe if you live in a polluted area and have asthma. On the other hand, living in a better environment will help you to manage your condition better and keep it under control.


Another major factor affecting prognosis has to do with your lifestyle. If you have a poor diet and live an unhealthy lifestyle, this can also affect your prognosis. Adding smoking to your lifestyle can also significantly increase your lung cancer risk. Even secondhand smoke can have a negative impact on your health, so it’s better to avoid exposure as much as possible.

Sum Up

As you can see, asthma is a complicated medical condition. While asthma is generally considered to be a manageable health condition, it can still be quite serious if left unmanaged. If you have asthma, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with the condition.

Ultimately, the only way to tell the difference between chronic and acute asthma signs is by visiting a health professional. They will be able to help you determine the best treatment plan, as well as diagnose any underlying conditions.

Don’t let asthma stop you from enjoying life. With the right treatment plan, you can live a fulfilling and healthy life. If you have any questions or concerns about your asthma, visit your trusted health professional.