PULMICORT FLEXHALER is not a bronchodilator and should NOT be used to treat an acute asthma attack. If you are switching to PULMICORT FLEXHALER from an oral corticosteroid, follow your doctor's instructions to avoid serious health risks when you stop using oral corticosteroids. ... Read More

Understanding Asthma

Understanding Asthma

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that affects people of all ages, though it often begins in childhood.

When you have asthma, you always have inflammation or swelling in the airways of your lungs. You may not feel this inflammation, but your lungs do. It makes breathing more difficult. Uncontrolled inflammation (swelling) makes your airways more sensitive to asthma triggers like pollen, dust, and smoke.

Exposure to these asthma triggers can cause constriction (tightening) of the muscles around your airways, leading to asthma symptoms like shortness of breath, wheezing, tightness of the chest, and coughing. Asthma controller medications can help control the inflammation in your airways and help reduce your sensitivity to asthma triggers.

Asthma control is about managing your asthma daily so you have few or no asthma symptoms in the first place. When your asthma is under control, you can do more of the things you like to do with fewer interruptions.

Asthma Triggers

Certain activities, odors, allergens, or environmental factors can set off asthma. These are called "asthma triggers." Knowing asthma triggers and avoiding them (if possible) can help you or your child avoid an asthma attack. Get help preventing asthma symptoms

Common asthma triggers include the allergens, irritants, and other activities or conditions below. Read through the list to see if any of these triggers are in your or your child’s environment.


  • Tree/Grass/Weed Pollens
  • Foods
  • Molds
  • Animal Dander and Saliva
  • Dust mites
  • Cockroaches


  • Strong Odors/Perfumes
  • Paints or Varnishes
  • Tobacco Smoke
  • Cooking Fumes
  • Household Cleaners
  • Wood Smoke
  • Aerosol Sprays
  • Dust/Coal Dust/Chalk Dust
  • Weather Changes

Other Triggers

  • Colds or Viral Infections
  • Reflux Disease/Heartburn
  • Vigorous Activity/Exercise
  • Medications
  • Prolonged Crying or Laughing
  • Cold Air
  • Food Additives, like Sulfites

It’s important to know how to spot asthma triggers. You may also want to learn how to recognize and prevent asthma symptoms

Find Out More