Managing Asthma. Most people have little trouble climbing a flight of stairs or taking a brisk walk, but these simple activities can be tough for someone with asthma. Although there’s no cure, you can breathe easier by knowing how to keep the condition under control. Asthma is a common, long-lasting disease that affects the lungs. It can begin in childhood or adulthood. Without proper care, asthma can become serious, even deadly. But most people with asthma learn to manage the disease so they have few symptoms or none at all.