What is Asthma?

Asthma is a condition that affects your lungs. Different people experience it in different ways. Some people have mild symptoms only at particular times, whereas other people can have very severe asthma that can be life-threatening. Many people have it for life, although some children will grow out of it.

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Your airways

When asthma worsens, the small airways in your lungs become narrowed.  The walls can become tight and swollen, and mucus can be produced which all add to narrowing and blocking of the airways. This narrowing of airways limits the flow of air which causes your symptoms.

Medicines used in asthma are designed to reduce reactivity and inflammation of the airways, and reduce the processes narrowing your airways. See more in Treatments section.

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Symptoms can be variable depending on how narrowed your airways are, including coughing, breathlessness, wheezing (whistling noise whilst breathing), on walking or talking or when exerting yourself, and feeling your chest is tight

Different things can trigger your asthma, see section on Triggers.