begins during infancy or childhood, but it can start at any age. It may last throughout
At times, the
inflammation from asthma causes a narrowing of your
mucus production. This causes asthma symptoms such as
shortness of breath.
Asthma attacks and what makes them worse
Your airways narrow when they overreact to
certain substances. These are known as asthma
triggers. What triggers asthma symptoms varies from person to
When asthma symptoms
suddenly occur, it is called an
asthma attack (also called a flare-up or
exacerbation). Asthma attacks can occur rarely or frequently. They may be mild to
Although some asthma attacks occur very suddenly, many become worse
gradually over a period of several days. In general, you can take care of
symptoms at home by following your
asthma action plan. A severe attack may
need emergency treatment and in rare cases can be fatal.
classified as intermittent, mild persistent, moderate
persistent, and severe persistent.
Effect on your long-term health
Asthma can raise your risk for complications from lung
infections, such as acute
Even mild asthma may cause changes to the airway
system. It may speed up and make worse the natural decrease
in lung function that occurs as we age.
Some experts believe that asthma may
raise your risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).2
Asthma during pregnancy
Asthma can occur for the first time during pregnancy, or it may change
When asthma is properly controlled, a
woman can have a normal pregnancy with little or no increased risk
to herself or the baby. But if the asthma isn't well controlled, there
are risks to the pregnant woman and the baby.