Free yourself from the disease and breathe with ease again. Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes inflammation and narrowing of the airways in the lungs. Recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing are all hallmarks of asthma. Asthma affects people of all ages, but most often starts during childhood. Kids and adolescents can develop asthma at any age. So, no matter at what age such a cough began, the recognition that the child might have an underlying asthma condition is essential.