The symptoms you may feel during an asthma attack are due to the inflammation of the lungs and airways. This inflammation causes the simple act of breathing to become painful.
Not only do the airways become tighter and narrower, the walls of those airways release extra mucus, adding additional barriers to breathing. The body responds to this excess mucus by coughing, in attempts to expel it rapidly.
Currently, there is no explanation of why asthma occurs or what triggers your lungs to be so sensitive.
There are many irritants that can trigger an asthmatic reaction. These are the most common: