A substance that causes an allergic reaction.

Allergic Asthma

Asthma caused by exposure to an allergen, such as pet dander, pollen or some types of food.


Tiny grape-like sacs where gas exchange (oxygen and carbon dioxide) takes place in the lungs.

Asthma Action Plan

A written set of instructions that tells you how to prevent asthma symptoms and what to do if symptoms occur and get worse.

Bronchial Tubes/Bronchi

Airways leading to and from your lungs that let air in and out so you can breathe.


Bronchitis is the production of increased mucus caused by inflammation of the airways.


Narrowing of the airways due to tightening of the muscles surrounding the airways.


Long-term control medicine that makes the airways wider by relaxing the smooth muscle around the airways.


Lasts a long time and is always present.


Narrowing, squeezing, compressing together.

Current Asthma

Bronchial hyperresponsiveness within the last year.


A condition where the air sacs of the lungs are damaged and enlarged, making it increasingly difficult to breathe.


The circumstances, objects and conditions by which one is surrounded.


Worsening; increase in severity.

Exercise-induced Asthma

When asthma symptoms occur or worsen during or after physical activity.


Hereditary; passed from parent to child.


Showing a greater than normal response when exposed to a substance.


Swelling, tenderness, redness.


An activity undertaken to improve the health status of a population.


A substance that causes a response, such as inflammation.

Lifetime Asthma

Having been diagnosed with asthma at any point in one’s life.

Long-term Control Medicine or Controller Medication

Daily medication taken to control symptoms and prevent asthma attacks.


A device used to produce a fine spray of liquid medication for deep penetration into the lungs.  

Occupational Asthma

When asthma symptoms are caused by or worsened by breathing in a workplace substance, such as chemical fumes, gases or dust.


Two or more individuals or groups who agree to work together to achieve a common set of goals, usually within a formal structure.

Peak Airflow

A measure of how well you can blow air out of your lungs.

Quick-relief or Rescue Medicine

Asthma medicine that acts quickly, but only for a short- time, to relieve asthma symptoms that have already started.

Seasonal Asthma

When asthma symptoms are worse at particular times of the year, such as winter or summer.


Learning and applying knowledge and skills to prevent, monitor and control symptoms.


An instrument that measures the maximum volume of air you can exhale after breathing in as much as you can.


Test for diagnosing asthma.


The systematic collection, analysis and dissemination of data.


A characteristic sign or indication of the existence of a disorder or disease.


Anything that brings on (asthma) symptoms.

Trigger Test

An evaluation tool where a patient is exposed to a substance that will cause asthma symptoms if the patient has asthma.

Last updated June 15, 2017