During an asthma attack, the airways in the lung narrow. In response to an environmental
trigger, airways become inflamed or swollen and begin to produce mucus. The muscles around airways
contract, further narrowing the openings and making it difficult to breathe. This narrowing may reverse
naturally with time, or with treatment and medication.
Who's At Risk?
Asthma is a complex disease that is influenced by many genes and environmental factors. But it is safe to
say that asthma often runs in families. If someone in your family has asthma, you may have inherited
factors that make you more susceptible to this disease.
Asthma is the most common chronic disease (one that cannot be cured) affecting children and young
adults. In the United States, one child out of every fifteen has some degree of asthma.