Asthma FAQs

What is asthma?

Asthma is a reversible periodic disease of the airways. This means that the airways clamp down and get very sensitive, causing a variety of symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough and wheezing.

Some people’s asthma is caused by allergies and the resulting inflammation in their airways. For some with non-allergic asthma, their bodies do not metabolize certain chemicals properly and so they have a buildup of these chemicals in their body that then cause their asthma symptoms. Others have asthma due to inflammatory changes within their own bodies. Learn more about asthma.

 Is there anything I can do to prevent asthma?

Allergic asthma can sometimes be prevented by treating environmental allergies with allergy shots and other medical therapies. You can also take steps to prevent asthma by managing risk factors and being aware of triggers. Learn more about how to manage and live with asthma.

What are the signs and symptoms of asthma?

Shortness of breath, wheezing and heaviness or tightness in the chest are all signs and symptoms of asthma. Learn more about the signs and symptoms of asthma.

What is the difference between allergic asthma and non-allergic asthma?

Non-allergic asthma can develop in anybody, especially adults, and is treated similarly to allergic asthma. Allergic asthma is triggered by breathing in allergens, but in some cases asthma can be a chronic condition because it causes changes within a patient’s lungs. Learn more about types of asthma.

How is asthma diagnosed?

Asthma is diagnosed based on your history of symptoms and breathing tests, called pulmonary function tests. Learn more about asthma treatment.

Can I outgrow asthma?

Yes. Some children will outgrow asthma and other patients will have it come and go over the course of their lives.

What are some treatment options for asthma?

If you have allergic asthma, you can be treated for environmental allergies through avoidance measures. There are also inhalers, pill-based therapies and injectable therapies that can be prescribed, based on the severity of your asthma symptoms and the degree of impairment of lung function. It’s important that if you have asthma, your asthma is treated properly and not as another lung issue. Learn more about asthma treatment.