Asthma is a disease of the lungs that makes it hard to breathe. There is no cure for asthma, but it can be controlled. With the right care, people with asthma can lead healthy, active lives.
- What is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic (long-term) disease of the lungs. You do not “catch” asthma like you do the common cold. It tends to run in families. Children who have a close family member with asthma are more likely to have asthma themselves.
With asthma, three changes happen inside the lungs to make it hard to breathe:
- The lining of the airways become swollen (called inflammation). This makes the airways smaller and harder for air to move through.
- The muscles around the airways tighten (called constriction), making them smaller.
- The airways make thick mucus, which traps the air.