Jun 13, 2011
This video—presented by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health—describes asthma, its signs and symptoms, and ways to manage the disease.
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways, making it hard to breathe. The disease affects people of all ages, but it most often starts in childhood. People who have asthma may wheeze, cough, feel short of breath, or have chest tightness.
Asthma can't be cured, but it can be controlled. People who have asthma, or those who have children with asthma, can take an active role in their treatment. For example, they can work with their health care providers to create an asthma action plan. This plan gives guidance on taking medicines properly, avoiding asthma triggers, tracking levels of asthma control, responding to worsening symptoms, and seeking emergency care when needed. When asthma is well controlled, most people who have the disease are able to live normal, active lives.
For more information about living with and managing asthma, go to the Health Topics Asthma article.