Asthma What Is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic (long-term) condition that affects the airways in the lungs. The airways are tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. If you have asthma, the airways can become inflamed and narrowed at times. This makes it harder for air to flow out of your airways when you breathe out.

Asthma is a chronic condition that affects 1 in 13 Americans.

About 1 in 13 people in the United States has asthma, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It affects people of all ages and often starts during childhood. Certain things can set off or worsen asthma symptoms, such as pollen, exercise, viral infections, or cold air. These are called asthma triggers. When symptoms get worse, it is called an asthma attack.

There is no cure for asthma, but treatment and an asthma action plan can help you manage it. The plan may include monitoring, avoiding triggers, and using medicines.

Learn More Breathe Better

What is Asthma?

Learn basic facts about what asthma is and how it affects your airways.


You can also find asthma guides, tip sheets, and other resources from NHLBI’s Asthma: Learn More Breathe Better program.



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