In asthma, inflammation happens in the airways. Even when a person with asthma is not having an asthma attack and seems to be breathing OK, the walls of his or her airways remain inflamed. They are swollen and produce too much mucus, dramatically shrinking the space available for air to pass through.
But in someone who lives with asthma, these airways swell and become inflamed. As the airways grow irritated and sensitive, they start to react to various asthma triggers, which are things that you are exposed to every day. 2 There are many triggers that can cause an asthma attack. Pollen, molds, pet dander, and dust mites all are triggers.
Asthma is a long-term problem in the tubes that carry air into your lungs that can make it hard for you to breathe. These airways get so narrow that air can’t move freely. It can cause serious wheezing and breathlessness, known as asthma attacks.