Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that causes inflammation of the bronchial tubes, or airways of the lungs, which carry oxygen to the body. The inflammation or swelling causes the airways to become narrow which leads to difficulty in breathing. The inflammation increases the sensitivity of the airways, making them susceptible to allergic reactions.
In severe cases, asthma patients might suffer an asthma attack, which is a sudden onset of asthma symptoms caused by narrowing of airway muscles. An asthma attack can prove to be fatal and requires immediate medical care or even, hospitalization.
Asthma can affect people of all ages. However, the disease is usually diagnosed during childhood.