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Asthma is a long-term (chronic) condition that causes recurrent episodes in which your child's lower airways (bronchi) in the lungs become tight and narrow. The narrowing is caused by inflammation and tightening of the smooth muscle around the lower airways.
Asthma episodes, also called asthma attacks or asthma flares, may cause coughing, making high-pitched whistling sounds when your child breathes, most often when your child breathes out (wheezing), shortness of breath, and chest pain. The airways may produce extra mucus caused by the inflammation and irritation. During an attack, it can be difficult to breathe. Asthma attacks can range from minor to life-threatening.
Asthma cannot be cured, but medicines and lifestyle changes can help to control your child's asthma symptoms. It is important to keep your child's asthma well controlled so the condition does not interfere with your child's daily life.
This condition is believed to be caused by inherited (genetic) and environmental factors, but its exact cause is not known.
What can trigger an asthma attack:
These symptoms may be an emergency. Do not wait to see if the symptoms will go away. Get help right away. Call 911.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
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