Asthma is a long-term condition that affects the lungs. It causes swelling and narrowing of small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs causing shortness of breath, cough or wheeze.
Asthma is common, affecting 2 out of every 10 people in Scotland with over 5 million people in the UK requiring treatment for asthma.
There is no cure for asthma but the symptoms can be well controlled with treatment and avoiding irritants (triggers) that make it worse.
The cause of symptoms is not always clear but sometimes triggers can be identified. Common symptoms of asthma include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
People with asthma might have one or more of these symptoms. They usually come and go and can change throughout the day. They can happen at rest or on doing activities and they are sometimes worse at night.
Treatment (usually with inhalers) works well in most people to ease and prevent symptoms.