Overview of Asthma

Asthma is a treatable inflammatory lung disease. It usually requires a visit to your health care provider and medications. It varies in severity from person to person and from one episode to the next.

It is usually caused by something irritating the airways. It may be due to a viral or bacterial infection, allergies or environmental pollution.

An attack can come on suddenly or gradually over days to weeks. It can be just a nuisance or can become life threatening.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Wheezing (a whistling or hissing sound when you breathe)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Cough that lasts more than a week – especially at night


  • Avoid indoor and outdoor allergens and pollutants
  • Learn to recognize and treat symptoms early
  • Take medications as prescribed by your doctor


  • Long term control medications – used on a regular basis to control and prevent attacks
  • Reliever medications – used for relief of symptoms during an attack
  • Treat underlying problem i.e. allergies, infection

How We Can Help

  • If you would like to be seen by our medical staff, please contact our Appointment Desk to schedule an appointment.
  • Also, our Advice Nurse service is available at no charge for all UC Davis students to discuss health concerns and the need for medical care.