Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways that transport air to and from the lungs. No full cure is available, but management methods can help a person with asthma lead a full and active life.
In a person with asthma, the inside walls of the airways, known as bronchial tubes, become swollen or inflamed. This swelling or inflammation makes the airways extremely sensitive to irritations and increases their susceptibility to an allergic reaction.
In an allergic reaction, the airways swell, and the muscles around the airway tighten, making it difficult for air to move in and out of the lungs.
In some asthma attacks, swelling in the airways can completely prevent oxygen from reaching the lungs, which also stops it entering the bloodstream and traveling to vital organs.