Asthma is a chronic disease that causes repeat episodes of breathing problems. During these episodes—or attacks—the airways tighten, causing the opening in the airways to become smaller, allowing less air to pass through. The inflammation also can worsen, making the airways even narrower. Cells in the airways may make more mucus than normal.
Children with asthma often have acute episodes of breathing problems, such as coughing, wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath. The cause of these episodes is a sensitivity of the lungs’ airways resulting in over reaction to certain “triggers.” There are common triggers that vary from individual to individual.