Utah Asthma Program
Utah Asthma Program

Asthma Basics

What is Asthma? | Signs and Symptoms | Asthma Triggers


What is Asthma? | Top

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs. People with asthma have airways that are hyperresponsive, meaning that the airways react to asthma triggers such as colds, cigarette smoke and exercise faster and more intensely than people whose airways are normal.

What happens during an asthma episode?


  • The lining of the airways become inflamed and swell.
  • More mucus is produced, making the opening in the airways smaller.
  • The muscles around the airways tighten, also making the opening in the airways smaller.


Signs and Symptoms | Top

Signs and symptoms of asthma vary from person to person. They may also vary for a person depending on which trigger they have been exposed to.

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Feeling tired
  • Stuffy nose
  • Tight Chest
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Sweating

A person may have some or all of these symptoms at any time. If you are experiencing these symptoms and are unable to breathe, please consult your health care provider immediately.

Asthma Triggers | Top

A trigger is any object, act, or event that causes asthma symptoms. The muscles in the airways react to triggers and causes them to tighten and narrow, making it harder to breathe.

Common triggers include:

How to Reduce Asthma Triggers

  • Wash pets once a week
  • Keep pets out of the bedroom
  • Do not allow smoking in your home or car
  • Clean damp areas, like bathrooms, often.
  • Remove objects that collect dust from the bedroom