Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways which remains uncontrolled despite current therapy for many patients. Asthma is characterised by fluctuating symptoms which include coughing, chest tightness, wheezing and shortness of breath. Genetic and environmental factors contribute to asthma and there are numerous stimuli that can trigger asthma, both atopic (allergic) and non-atopic (non-allergic).
Asthma has no cure, so long-term prevention focuses on avoiding known triggers. Asthma is classified by the frequency and extent of symptoms, the forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and peak expiratory flow rate.