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Asthma is a disease that affects your lungs. Asthma causes changes in your airways that can make it hard to breathe. It is one of the most common long-term diseases of children, but adults can have asthma too.

Asthma causes wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and coughing at night or early in the morning. If you have asthma, you have it all the time, but you will have asthma attacks only when something bothers your lungs. In most cases, the cause of asthma is not known, and there is no cure. If someone in your family has asthma you are more likely to have it.

Asthma medicines come in two types—quick-relief (rescue inhalers) and daily preventive medicine (long-term controllers). With proper treatment, you can do more of the things you want to do. You can control your asthma by knowing the warning signs of an asthma attack, staying away from things that cause an attack, and following your doctor’s advice by taking your medicine exactly as directed.

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