A chronic (long-lasting) inflammatory disease of the airways. In those susceptible to asthma, a chronic inflammatory disease, the airways spasm and swell periodically so that the airways narrow. This makes the sufferer wheeze and gasp for air. The triggers for an asthma attack are wide-ranging and include cold air, exercise, dust mites, animal hair and dander, pollutants in the air, exercise, stress and anxiety. Continuing inflammation makes the airways even more sensitive.