DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance. For others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.
Asthma can't be cured, but its symptoms can be controlled. Because asthma often changes over time, it's important that you work with your doctor to track your signs and symptoms and adjust treatment as needed.
Aug. 30, 2016
- Martinez FD, et al. Asthma. The Lancet. 2013;382:1360.
- What is asthma? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/asthma. Accessed April 27, 2015.
- Diagnosis and management of asthma guideline. Bloomington, Minn.: Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement. https://www.icsi.org/guidelines__more/catalog_guidelines_and_more/catalog_guidelines/catalog_respiratory_guidelines/asthma/. Accessed April 27, 2015.
- Global strategy for asthma management and prevention (2015 update). Global Initiative for Asthma. http://www.ginasthma.org/documents/4. Accessed April 27, 2015.
- Expert panel report 3 (EPR-3): Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of asthma. Bethesda, Md.: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/asthma/. Accessed Sept. 13, 2013.
- Ferri FF. Asthma. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2015: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 27, 2015.
- Asthma. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase.com. Accessed April 27, 2015.
- Updated information on leukotriene inhibitors: Montelukast (marketed as Singulair), zafirlukast (marketed as Accolate), and zileuton (marketed as Zyflo and Zyflo CR). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/PostmarketDrugSafetyInformationforPatientsandProviders/DrugSafetyInformationforHeathcareProfessionals/ucm165489.htm. Accessed April 27, 2015.