Asthma is a disease in which inflammation of the airways causes airflow into and out of the lungs to be restricted.
Asthma is a disease that causes the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow, leading to wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. In persons who have sensitive airways, asthma symptoms can be triggered by breathing in substances called allergens or triggers.
Common asthma triggers include:
- Animals (pet hair or dander)
- Dust mites
- Certain medicines (aspirin and other NSAIDS)
- Changes in weather (most often cold weather)
- Chemicals in the air or in food
- Respiratory infections, such as the common cold
- Strong emotions (stress)
- Tobacco smoke
Many of the same substances that trigger allergies can also trigger asthma. Common allergens include pollen, dust mites, mold and pet dander.
Many people with asthma have a personal or family history of allergies, such as hay fever (allergic rhinitis) or eczema. Others have no history of allergies.
Learn about how we treat asthma at Carilion Clinic with our Asthma Management Program.