What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic (long-term) lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning.

What are the Symptoms of Asthma?

Some symptoms may include:

  • Coughing, especially at night
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing (a whistling or squeaky sound when you breathe)
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing

What can be Done to Treat Asthma?

The goal of asthma treatment is to control the disease by avoiding triggers, using the medications prescribed by your doctor, and taking steps to prevent and treat attacks. Medications often used to treat asthma are:

  • Inhaled corticosteroids
  • Long-acting bronchodilators
  • Quick-relief inhalers
  • Leukotriene modifiers