Asthma is a long-term (chronic) disease of the respiratory system. It causes your airways to tighten and become narrow. This makes it hard to breathe and may cause wheezing and coughing.

Although asthma is a lifelong disease, treatment can help control it and help you stay healthy.

The cause of asthma is not clearly known.

Current as of: January 17, 2017

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Rohit K Katial, MD - Allergy and Immunology & Elizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine