Difference Between Extrinsic Asthma and Intrinsic Asthma

Extrinsic and Intrinsic are the two types of asthma that cause breathing issues to people all around the world. These both show similar symptoms but are entirely different in their causes and triggers.


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Extrinsic Asthma vs Intrinsic Asthma

The difference between extrinsic asthma and intrinsic asthma is that extrinsic asthma also known as allergic asthma is caused due to some allergic reactions and mostly affect younger people, while intrinsic asthma, known as non-allergic asthma, is caused by smoke, dust, anxiety, etc, and generally affect the old age people.

Extrinsic Asthma vs Intrinsic Asthma

This type of asthma targets the younger generation and is usually inherited in them from their parents. Extrinsic asthma can be caused by airborne substances or through certain foods and drugs.

It occurs mostly in the patients that are vagotonic and have seizure attacks due to the physiological need for oxygen not being provided. Many factors trigger an intrinsic asthma attack which includes, cigarettes or wool smokes, perfumes, dust, etc.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonExtrinsic AsthmaIntrinsic Asthma
DefinitionExtrinsic asthma is allergic asthma which is associated with certain allergens like dust.Intrinsic Asthma is non-allergic asthma that is associated with Uncertain stimulants like chemicals.
Age groupThis type of asthma attacks the old population.This type of asthma attacks the younger population.
DevelopmentInherited by birth.Develops later in life.
Percentage of cases . There are 90% of cases registered.There are 10% of cases registered.
TriggersTriggers for extrinsic asthma include certain foods, drugs or airborne elements, etc.Triggers for intrinsic asthma include home dust, cigarettes smoke, burning wood smoke, etc.

What is Extrinsic Asthma?

Extrinsic Asthma, also known as allergic asthma is caused by some specific group of allergens which includes pollens, dust or pet hair, etc. The symptoms of asthma include coughing when laughing or exercising or at night, finding it difficult to breathe, feeling tightness in the chest, or being out of breath.

Identifying extrinsic asthma is easier as the allergens known, trigger the body and because of that, asthma is identified.

Even though asthma is next to impossible to get filled cured. Omalizumab is an antibody that helps in reducing the symptoms of extrinsic asthma by reducing the IgE in the body.

What is Intrinsic Asthma?

Intrinsic asthma, also considered non-allergic asthma is highly seen in females in their old age and is more severe than other types of asthma. Intrinsic asthma generally affects the old generation and are developed late in their life.

For the treatment, there are two sets of medications available, which are the long-acting controller medications that are needed to be taken every day and the other is the short-acting rescue medication taken only when a seizure attack occurs.

Main Differences Between Extrinsic Asthma and Intrinsic Asthma

  1. Extrinsic Asthma is caused due to natural or environmental elements whereas, intrinsic asthma is caused by chemicals, infections, etc.
  2. During a skin prick test, extrinsic asthma shows positive results while intrinsic asthma shows negative results. 


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0954611195901566
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0091674973900821
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