Asthma affects your lungs. It is one of the most common long-term diseases in children, but affects adults as well. With symptoms such as breathlessness, chest tightening, wheezing, and coughing at night, early morning, or in the cold air, asthma attacks generally only happen when the lungs become bothered. Studies have uncovered very few causes of asthma, but in some cases it has been linked to genetic traits. Often if one family member has it, someone else in the family is more than likely to have it as well. When diagnosing asthma, your physician will check your lungs for allergies, chest tightness, wheezing, and colds lasting more than 10 days. They will generally also do a breathing test called spirometry, to find out how well your lungs are working. If having an asthma attack, you may experience chest tightness, wheezing, and trouble breathing. The attack happens in your body’s airways causing a loss of air to your lungs. During the attack lungs swell and airways shrink decreasing the amount of air that is reaching the lungs, which also causes mucus to clog the airways even more. Have additional questions about asthma and how to control it? Ask your physician for more information.