Asthma affects one in 15 Americans and knowing what causes and asthma attack could save your or a loved one's life.

Dr. Mario Kinsella is pulmonary physician at UPMC Hamot.

He says asthma attacks are mostly caused from inflammation in your airwaves. You can reduce the risk of an asthma attack by controlling the inflammation.

Triggers like pollen, exercise and even weather changes can cause an attack.

Dr. Kinsella said there's not much you can do during an asthma attack without an inhaler.

"If you're in distress, short of breath, feeling unwell, unable to speak, you need aggressive medical care quickly," said Dr. Kinsella.

Asthma attacks can happen in seconds, hours or even days. It varies on the person and cause of the attack.