Asthma is a disease that affects your airways. Your airways are the tubes that transport air to and from your lungs. If you’re asthmatic, the walls of your airways can feel sore and become swollen making them ultra sensitive and reactive to things that you are allergic to or find irritating. As a result, your airways become constricted and your lungs receive less air. This can cause breathing problems, especially during the early morning hours and at night, wheezing, coughing, and tightness in the chest.
The majority of people with asthma will experience wheezing attacks separated by periods where they will be symptom-free. A number of asthma patients are affected by long-term shortness of breath and go through bouts of increased shortness of breath. For others however, the principal symptom may be a cough. Asthma attacks may last a few minutes or span out to a number of days. Attacks may be life-threatening if the airways become severely constricted.