Asthma is a long-term condition that affects the lungs. It causes swelling and narrowing of small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs, causing coughing and shortness of breath.

Asthma is common, affecting 2 out of every 10 people in Scotland. Over 5 million people in the UK require treatment for asthma.

There is no cure for asthma and the cause is not always clear but the symptoms can be well controlled with treatment and avoiding irritants (triggers) that can make it worse.

Common symptoms of asthma include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness

People with asthma might experience one or more of these symptoms. They usually come and go and can change throughout the day. They can happen at rest or when performing activities and they are sometimes worse at night.

Treatment (usually with inhalers) works well for most people to ease and prevent symptoms.

For more information and practical advice on living with asthma, visit My Lungs My Life.