Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your airways. Your airways are tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. If you have asthma, the inside walls of your airways become sore and swollen. That makes them very sensitive, and they may react strongly to things that you are allergic to or find irritating. When your airways react, they get narrower and your lungs get less air. This can cause wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and trouble breathing, especially early in the morning or at night.

When your asthma symptoms become worse than usual, it's called an asthma attack. In a severe asthma attack, the airways can close so much that your vital organs do not get enough oxygen. People can die from severe asthma attacks.

Asthma is treated with two kinds of medicines: quick-relief medicines to stop asthma symptoms and long-term control medicines to prevent symptoms.

Source: MedlinePlus

Note: This topic was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.

Recommended Reading

Asthma, National Jewish Health
National Jewish Health is known worldwide for treatment of patients with respiratory, immune and allergic disorders, and for groundbreaking medical research. This link will take you to their website where you can search for information on current treatment for asthma and tips for daily living.

What Is Asthma? Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America is a patient organization working to improve the quality of life for people with asthma and allergies, and their caregivers, through education, advocacy and research. This link provides abundant asthma information, including basics on asthma triggers and answers to frequently asked questions. (Click on the "Asthma" tab on the top of page.)

Asthma, American Lung Association
This link to the American Lung Association provides an interactive decision support tool for asthma patients.

Asthma and Kids

All About Asthma, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology has puzzles, games and books that provide asthma information for children in a fun format. The academy is an association of allergists, immunologists and other healthcare providers.

Asthma Information for Kids, National Jewish Hospital
This link from National Jewish Hospital provides an interactive educational approach to asthma for children.

KidsHealth provides information about and for children on a variety of health issues, including asthma.

Other Resources

Allergy and Asthma Network
This link is to a nonprofit education and advocacy group for people with asthma.

What's Today's Pollen Count?
Visit this site and enter a ZIP code for a report on the pollen index in Fort Collins or other locations in the United States.

Local Resources

Poudre River Public Library District
Search the library collection for books about asthma, or use the library's health, sciences and technology databases.

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