Asthma is a respiratory illness that disrupts the transport of air in and out of the lungs. The condition is genetic and triggered or aggravated by air pollution, both indoors and outdoors. Common indoor pollutant triggers include dustmites, mold spores and cigarette smoke. In an asthma attack, the airways become inflamed as the body’s immune system reacts to an irritant, making it difficult for oxygen to reach the lungs.