Asthma is a chronic disease that affects your breathing. If you have asthma, airways can become obstructed, inflamed and irritable. Asthma symptoms include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightening. An asthma attack is when asthma symptoms worsen suddenly. Asthma treatments include bronchodilators (which help to open up lung airways) and inhaled steroids (which reduce inflammation) delivered through an inhaler or nebulizer. Self-care at home is part of any asthma action plan.