Asthma: A closer look

10/23/2017, 9:18 a.m.
Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the airways that has increased in incidence over the past decade.

Asthma is an inflammation of the airways that interferes with normal breathing. It affects 7.6 percent of adults in the U.S. and 8.4 percent of children. Its prevalence is on the rise.


Signs and symptoms of asthma vary widely, but may include the following:

  • Coughing, which may be worse at night
  • Wheezing — a whistling sound when exhaling
  • Chest tightness, which may feel as though something is squeezing your chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid breathing