Asthma 101

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a common but complex lung disease that is characterized by airflow obstruction and inflammation, narrowing of the airways due to triggers, and varying and recurring symptoms such as coughing and shortness of breath.

What can trigger an asthma attack?

There are many things that can trigger an attack. Some things that may trigger an asthma attack are:

  • dust mites
  • animal dander
  • cockroach droppings
  • cigarette smoke
  • aerosol sprays
  • respiratory infections
  • acid reflux
  • anxiety
  • intense exercise
  • sudden temperature changes


The most common symptoms of asthma are coughing, shortness of breath, tightness of the chest, and wheezing.


There is no cure for asthma, but the symptoms can be controlled with treatment. Asthma can be treated by developing an asthma action plan, taking medicines correctly, avoiding asthma triggers, recognizing and acting promptly to symptoms and signs of worsening asthma, seeking medical care for asthma attacks, getting regular checkups, and treating other conditions that can interfere with asthma management.

Asthma in the United States

There are 25 million people that suffer from asthma in the United States. About 7 million of the 25 million are children. Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts during childhood. Adults from ages 18 to 24 are more likely to have asthma than older adults. Women are more likely to have asthma than men. Approximately nine people die from asthma each day.

Asthma and Life

Living with asthma can be difficult in the beginning. After proper diagnosing and treatment, life will get easier. It is very important to take the correct medications and knowing what triggers an attack. This can help make managing and controlling asthma a lot easier.



Audio Slideshow

This slideshow demonstrates how to use a nebulizer.



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This video profiles pulmonologist Dr. LaSandra Barton.