Vocabulary Related to Asthma

Below is a list of the more commonly used words associated with asthma.


Controllable chronic lung disease causing swelling and narrowing of the airways


A lasting disease or one that develops slowly


Things in the environment that are usually harmless, however, some children are sensitive to them and can cause a reaction from their body

Examples: grass, strong odors, mold, and dust


What is felt when airways become swollen and narrow

Examples: wheezing, coughing, tight feeling or pain in the chest


Tubes in the lungs through which air flows

Episode or exacerbation

The period when asthma symptoms get worse

Peak flow meter

A device that is used to measure the amount of air that can be blown out of the lungs


Anything that causes asthma symptoms


A sound made by the chest with asthma or airway obstruction

Asthma Action Plan

A written plan which lists the action to be taken when a child is having trouble breathing

Metered dose inhaler

A small hand-held device that allows your child to breathe in a fine mist of medicine into their lungs


A machine or device that turns liquid medicine into a mist that breathe into your lungs

Spacer/holding chamber

A plastic tube that is attached to the metered dose inhaler.
The plastic tube holds the medicine until it is breathed in by the child using it

Rescue medicine or quick reliever

A medicine that your child takes only when they have asthma symptoms or an asthma attack

Controller medicine

A medicine your child takes every day to control their asthma symptoms