Asthma:Asthma is a common condition which can cause coughing, wheeziness and shortness of breath, It is caused by an inflammation of the airways for example the bronchi which carry air into and out of the lungs. When an individual comes into contact with a 'trigger' it will cause an inflammation which cause the airways to become narrow. A severe onset of symptoms is therefore known as an asthma attack. Asthma causes the airways to narrow which restricts the flow of air into and out of the lungs therefore the body has to work harder to get the oxygen needed this is what causes shortness of breath. Asthma is can be caused by a variety of things which are referred to as 'triggers' these are usually allergies such as animal fur, pollen etc. Breathing is difficult for a person with asthma because the airways have become restricted which also restricts the flow of air into and out of the body.A variety of symptoms may suggest a person has asthma including; coughing, wheeziness and a shortness of breath. Asthma can also be diagnosed through tests which measure the peak flow of a person. e.g. A spirometer, peak flow meter. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD):Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the name for a collection of lung diseases including; chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease.The main cause for COPD is smoking, this is because smoking can cause the lungs to become irritated and inflamed. Over a period of time this leads to a permanent change to the shape of the lungs and also results in the lungs losing their elasticity. These changes cause symptoms such as coughing, phlegm and shortness of breath. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will therefore change the shape of the lungs permanently and the lungs elasticity will never be replaced, this also means that the effects of smoking and the combination of these diseases are irreversible. Due to an obstruction of the lungs this will restrict the amount of air able to go into and out of the lungs. Another effect that the disease will have on an individual is that it may cause some of the alveoli on the lungs to burst. The elasticity will also be lost therefore surface exchange across the lungs will be reduced and the patient will no longer be able to breath properly as the lungs have lost elasticity so will not inflate and deflate properly like they should.