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Asthma is a chronic disease that can make it hard to breathe for your lungs. Asthma can’t be cured, but with proper treatment, people with asthma can lead normal, active lives. If you have asthma, your airways (breathing passages) are very sensitive. Certain things can make your airways become:

  • Swollen and filled with mucus – the swelling and mucus makes your airways narrower, so it is hard for air to pass through
  • Small and tight – your airways might also become twitchy and squeeze together and tighten. This makes your airways narrower and hard for air to pass through.

Types of asthma

Although asthma is often just called “asthma”, you may sometimes hear other terms used. Here are some of the more common terms you may hear from your health-care provider. It’s time to learn the facts about asthma!

Allergic asthma: When your asthma is affected by allergens such as pets, pollen, mould and dust mites, it is called allergic asthma.

Occupational asthma: When your asthma is caused by an exposure in the workplace, it is called occupational asthma. If you already have asthma but something in the workplace triggers your symptoms, it is called work-exacerbated asthma or work-aggravated asthma.

Exercise-induced asthma (exercise-induced bronchoconstriction): When your asthma symptoms are triggered by physical activity, it is sometimes called exercise-induced asthma or exercise-induced bronchoconstriction.

Nocturnal asthma (nighttime asthma): When you mainly get symptoms in the night and into the early morning, it is called nocturnal asthma (nighttime asthma).

Adult-onset asthma: If your asthma is first diagnosed when you are an adult, it is called adult-onset asthma.

Cough-variant asthma: When the main asthma symptom you experience is a cough, your health-care provider may refer to it as cough-variant asthma.


Asthma FAQs

START WITH THE BASICS. What IS asthma? How did you come to have it? And what can be done to ensure that you can maintain a healthy and active life despite it? We’ve answered the most common questions here.



TRIGGERS ARE THE THINGS that can cause your asthma symptoms. Each person has their own set of asthma triggers. Over time you can figure out what your asthma triggers are and take steps to reduce your exposure.


Work-related asthma

WORK-RELATED ASTHMA is a serious breathing disease that is caused by or made worse (exacerbated) by something in your workplace.