Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the respiratory system. The respiratory system is made up of the airways, lungs, and the respiratory muscles. When someone has asthma, the inside walls of the airways become swollen. The inflammation makes the airways very sensitive, and they react to allergic conditions. This is called an asthma attack. During an asthma attack, the airways react and become narrower, thus restricting the flow of air to the lungs. Common symptoms are wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and trouble breathing, especially at night and in the early morning.

Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled through medication.

Causes of Asthma Attacks

Certain environmental conditions can trigger an asthma attack. Some examples are exercise, allergens, irritants, and viral infections. Many people only have an asthma attack during exercise or a viral infection. 

Other conditions:

Air pollution

Animal dander 

Cigarette smoke


Cold air or changes in weather

Dust mites





Pollen from trees and grass

Scented products

Strong emotional expression (including crying or laughing hard)

Strong odors from painting or cooking


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