Asthma attacks all age groups but generally starts in childhood. It is a disease characterized by repeated attacks of breathlessness and wheezing, which differ in severity and frequency from person to person. For an individual, it may occur from hour to hour and day to day. This condition is due to inflammation of the air passages in the lungs and affects the sensitivity of the nerve endings in the airways so they become easily irritated. During attack, the lining of the passages swell causing the airways to narrow and reducing the flow of air in and out of the lungs. 

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing, i.e. a whistling or squeaky sound in your chest when breathing, especially when exhaling 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing, mainly at night, during exercise or when laughing
  • Difficultly in sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing


  • Airborne substances, like pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander etc Respiratory infections
  • Physical activity (exercise-induced asthma)
  • Cold air
  • Air pollutants and irritants, Example: SmokeCertain medications, including beta blockers, aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen (Aleve) Strong emotions and stress
  • Sulfites and preservatives added to some types of foods and beverages, including shrimp, dried fruit, processed potatoes, beer and wine
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which stomach acids back up into your throat


1. Get vaccinated 

Vaccination against for influenza and pneumonia would help one prevent flu and pneumonia from triggering asthma flare-ups.

2. Monitor your breathing

Recognition of warning signs of an impending attack, such as slight coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath. But because your lung function may decrease before you recognize any signs or symptoms, regularly measure and record your peak airflow with a home peak flow meter.

3. Identify and avoid asthma triggers

 A number of outdoor allergens and irritants mentioned above in the causes can trigger asthma attacks. Learn to detect what causes or worsens your asthma, and take steps to avoid those triggers.