Asthma is a chronic disease that affects about 20 million Americans. Its primary cause is inflamed airways in the lungs. This inflammation makes the airways smaller, which makes it more difficult for air to move in and out of the lungs. Asthma is the most common serious disease among children, affecting nine million in the United States.

Signs that you might have asthma include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.

Many people have “allergic asthma,” which means that allergens – like dust mites, mold, animal dander, pollen and cockroaches – make their symptoms worse.

Learn More About Controlling Your Asthma

Video courtesy of the American College of Asthma, Allergy, & Immunology (ACAAI)

Recommended reading:

  • Asthma information center – An excellent resource full of information on all different types of asthma (like exercise-induced asthma), treatment options, and tips for parents with asthmatic children.
  • Asthma relief self-test – See how your asthma symptoms stack up and determine if your asthma is under good control or not. Courtesy of the ACAAI. (Requires Flash)
  • Recognizing asthma in your young child – A very helpful brochure posted by the ACAAI on recognizing signs and symptoms of asthma in young children and infants. (PDF)
  • Asthma resources – Very helpful reading material from the American Lung Association.
  • “Allergy TV” by MedScape – Watch useful allergy videos online.