Asthma is a chronic disease affecting the airways that carry air to and from your lungs. People with asthma have sensitive airways in their lungs which react to triggers that set off their asthma. This makes it harder for them to breathe. Asthma triggers are different from person to person and can include:
- Airborne allergens, such as pollen, animal dander, mold, cockroaches and dust mites.
- Respiratory infections, such as the common cold.
- Physical activity (exercise-induced asthma).
- Cold air.
- Air pollutants and irritants, such as smoke.
The most common symptoms are:
- Coughing, especially at night, during exercise or when laughing.
- Shortness of breath.
- Chest tightness.
- Wheezing (a whistling or squeaky sound in your chest when you breathe, especially when exhaling).
- Any asthma symptom is serious and can become deadly if left untreated.