What is Asthma?

Asthma is characterized by inflammation of the air passages resulting in the temporary narrowing of the airways that transport air from the nose and mouth to the lungs. Asthma symptoms can be caused by allergens or irritants that are inhaled into the lungs, resulting in inflamed, clogged and constricted airways. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing tightness in the chest. In severe cases, asthma can be deadly.

  • There is no cure for asthma, but asthma can be managed with proper prevention and treatment. 
  • Asthma has a genetic component. If only one parent has asthma, chances are 1 in 3 that each child will have asthma. If both parents have asthma, it is much more likely (7 in 10) that their children will have asthma.
  • More Americans than ever before say they are suffering from asthma. It is one of this country's most common and costly diseases.

Despite advances in asthma care and management, asthma:

  • is often misdiagnosed
  • affects the quality of life of people with asthma by disrupting normal activities, results in frequent absenteeism from school and work and
  • adds a financial strain to our education and health care systems


The good news is that asthma is treatable!

The Coalition is a nonprofit partnership of public health, environmental agencies, managed care professionals, clinicians parents and other community stakeholders. As a partnership we can do so many things to make a positive difference in the lives of people with asthma ... from educating Arizonans and the medical community and advocating for changes in public policy to finding ways to control asthma and eliminating deaths and suffering.

For more information visit NIH - National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute