Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the airways to the lungs which causes the airways to swell, tighten and fill with mucus causing symptoms like coughing and chest tightness. While this condition may be a nuisance for some, for others who experience asthma attacks often, asthma can interfere with everyday life and lead to permanent narrowing of the airway that affects the ability to breathe.


While the exact cause is unknown, it is believed that environmental factors combined with genetics may be the cause of asthma. This condition is also more common among those who have hay fever, are smokers, exposed to fumes and pollution and are overweight.

Although there isn't a cure for asthma, the symptoms can be managed to prevent severe asthma attacks and complications such as permanent tightening of airways.


Asthma can cause symptoms in certain circumstances, making it difficult to breathe and chest tightness.

Symptoms of an asthma attack include:

  • shortness of breath
  • chest tightness
  • coughing and wheezing
  • a whistling sound when exhaling
  • trouble sleeping due to these symptoms

These symptoms may be experienced in certain situations such as one of the following:

  • When exercising (especially worse when weather is dry and cold).
  • When exposed to chemical fumes, gases or dust.
  • When exposed to pollen, mould, pet dander and dust