Airways
The breathing tubes in your lungs.

Asthma
A chronic condition that makes it hard to breathe by causing your airways to become narrow or blocked. Asthma symptoms can include wheezing, coughing, and chest tightness. Inflammation plays an important role in asthma.

Asthma Action Plan
A document written for an individual patient that explains what kind of asthma medicine to take, when and how much to take and what to do in case of an emergency.

Asthma attack
A period where asthma symptoms suddenly get worse or additional asthma symptoms appear.

Bronchodilator
A type of medication that relaxes the muscles around the airways, allowing the airways to open up, making it easier to breathe. Bronchodilators may be long or short acting.

Exacerbation
See asthma attack.

FEV1
The maximal amount of air a person can forcefully exhale in one second. It is then converted to a percentage of normal. FEV1 is a marker for the degree of obstruction in breathing with asthma.

Inflammation
One way your body responds to injury or irritation. An inflamed area may be warm, red, swollen, or painful.

Inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)
Inhaled long-term asthma control medicines that work by controlling inflammation.

Intermittent Asthma
Intermittent asthma is the most common and least severe type of asthma. People with intermittent asthma typically have asthma symptoms that come and go.

Long-Acting Bronchodilator
Long-Acting Beta Agonists (LABA)

A type of long-term control medicine that relaxes the muscles around the airways, allowing the airways to open up. LABAs should not be used by themselves.

Long-Term Control Medicine
Medication for persistent asthma that is taken over the long term, usually daily to prevent symptoms.

Mild Persistent Asthma
People with mild persistent asthma typically have asthma symptoms that occur almost weekly, but a single controller medication is usually sufficient to gain control.

Moderate Persistent Asthma
People with moderate persistent asthma typically have asthma symptoms that occur almost daily, but are able to gain control of your asthma exacerbations with two medications.

Peak Flow
A measurement of how well you can blow air out of your lungs.

Quick-Relief Inhaler
Medicines that relieve symptoms of asthma attacks.

Rescue Inhaler
See quick-relief inhaler.

Severe Persistent Asthma
People with severe persistent asthma typically have daily asthma symptoms despite attempting to gain control with more than two controller medications.

Short-Acting Bronchodilator
Short-Acting Beta Agonists (SABA)

A type of quick-relief medication that relieves asthma symptoms by relaxing the muscles around the airways allowing the airways to open up.

Spirometry
A common office test used to diagnose asthma. Spirometry may also be used periodically to check how well your lungs are working once you're being treated for a chronic lung condition. Spirometry measures how much air you can inhale and exhale. Spirometry also measures how fast you can exhale. Spirometry values below average indicate your lungs aren't working as well as they should.

Trigger
Something in the environment that can make asthma symptoms occur or become worse.

Wheezing
A whistling sound when you breathe.

Download an Asthma Action Plan

Learn why an asthma action plan is important.

Treat Asthma Inflammation

Get more information about asthma control and treating asthma inflammation.