Asthma is a chronic disease where the airways become inflamed and swollen, which makes breathing difficult. Asthma affects people of all ages, but usually begins in childhood.

Patients with asthma may experience a range of symptoms, including wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. While there is no cure for asthma, medications and other treatments can help or prevent symptoms. Any irritation of the airways can lead to an asthma attack. Asthma can become very serious or even fatal if ignored. Don’t wait to seek emergency care if you feel the symptoms of respiratory distress, such as:

  • Shortness of breath when walking or talking
  • Feeling of constant fatigue
  • Inability to sleep or eat
  • Inability to tolerate regular activities without breathing difficulty

You should seek emergency attention if you have one or more of the symptoms above, especially with a family history of asthma.