Understanding asthma

Asthma is a condition affecting the airways - the small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs.

Understanding asthma

Asthma means different things to different people. So what does it mean to you?

Asthma is a condition that affects your airways – the small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. But aside from this ‘textbook’ definition, asthma means different things to different people. So what does it mean to you?

Is it a new diagnosis you’re trying to get your head around? Have you been managing it well for years? Or are you struggling to cope with your symptoms?

Does it run in the family? Are you trying to understand the new medicines your child has been given? Is it your motivation for getting fitter and/or fundraising? Or the reason you've given up smoking?

Whatever asthma means to you, it’s useful to know more about how it affects you, both physically and emotionally, and why.

The more you understand the condition, the better position you’re in to work out with your healthcare team (i.e. your GP, asthma nurse and/or consultant) how to manage it well. Managing it well means that asthma will affect your life as little as possible.

If you have asthma:

If you’ve just been diagnosed with asthma, or even if you’ve had the condition for many years, you may have a long list of questions. To help you find some answers, we’ve put together lots of useful information - find what you need via the links above. 

If you think you may have asthma:

Asthma is a complex condition to diagnose. We have lots of  information about getting a diagnosis.

If your child has asthma

You may have lots of questions if your child’s recently been diagnosed. We’ve gathered all the information you need, plus lots of simple expert tips, in our Asthma And Your Child section.

If you think your child may have asthma

It can take time to get a diagnosis of asthma for your child. In the meantime, you probably have lots of questions and concerns. Our page on diagnosing asthma in children will give you the answers you need.

Last updated May 2016