Asthma Basics

The how and why of asthma

Key Points

  • Asthma is a common disease of the airways
  • It is due to inflammation, which results in bronchospasm, airway narrowing and mucus.
  • All of this makes it difficult to breathe
  • Risk factors make asthma more likely

Why do I have asthma?


Select the correct answer for each question by clicking on the toggle button next to it.


Why not take another look at the information and try again?

#1. Which of the following statements is false?

The correct answer is d) – all airways are the same, fixed size.  The airways in the lungs gradually become smaller.  The actual diameter of the smaller airways also changes in response to differing energy requirements.

#2. In what part of the airway does the diffusion of oxygen occur?

The correct answer is c) – the alveoli.  All the other answers are different types of airway.

#3. What happens to the airways when you have asthma?

The correct answer is b) – they tighten up and become narrower.  This is known as bronchospasm.

#4. Which is the best description of inflamed airways?

The correct answer is c) – red, sore and swollen.  Inflammation also results in mucus production.

#5. Which of the following is true?

The correct answer is d) – treatment is available to control asthma symptoms.  There are lots of treatments available to prevent airway inflammation and to relieve and prevent bronchospasm.

#6. What is the best way to ensure good asthma control?

The correct answer is a) – be knowledgeable about asthma and take treatment as prescribed.  Asthma is a lifelong condition and not something you catch but having a parent with asthma increases the risk of developing this problem.  Having allergies also increases the risk of developing asthma but avoiding nuts and grass only helps with asthma control if you have an allergy to them.