Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways. People with asthma experience episodes of wheezing, breathlessness and chest tightness due to widespread narrowing of the airways.
1 in 5 people aged 15 and over with asthma have a written asthma action plan, based on 2014–15 self-reported survey data
About 419 deaths were due to asthma in 2014 (0.3% of all deaths)
1 in 9 Australians reported asthma in 2014–15
Asthma is a common chronic condition of the airways.
People with asthma experience episodes of wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and chest tightness due to widespread narrowing of the airways. The symptoms of asthma vary over time and may be present or absent at any point in time . Asthma affects people of all ages and has a substantial impact on the community.
The symptoms of asthma are usually reversible, either with or without treatment. The severity of asthma ranges from mild, intermittent symptoms, causing few problems for the individual, to severe and persistent wheezing and shortness of breath. In a few people with asthma, the disease has a severe adverse impact on quality of life and may be life-threatening.
While the underlying causes of asthma are still not well understood, there are a number of genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that may increase the risk of developing asthma.
A number of factors can trigger asthma symptoms, and triggers may differ between individuals.
Triggers for asthma symptoms may include:
We'd love to know any feedback that you have about the AIHW website, its contents or reports.