A case of asthma

Asthma causes airways to constrict and swell and create more mucus. This can cause coughing, whistling, and shortness of breath.


– Shortness of breath – Chest tightness or pain – Wheezing when exhaling, which is a common sign of asthma in children

When to see a doctor

– Rapid worsening of shortness of breath or wheezing – No improvement even after using a quick-relief inhaler


It isn't clear why some people get asthma and others don't, but it's probably due to a combination of environmental and inherited (genetic) factors.

Asthma trigger

– Physical activity – Cold air – Air pollutants and irritants, such as smoke

Risk factor

– Being overweight – Being a smoker – Exposure to secondhand smoke – Exposure to exhaust fumes or other types of pollution


– Signs and symptoms that interfere with sleep, work and other activitie – Sick days from work or school during asthma flare-up

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