INTRODUCTION Ireland has the fourth highest incidence of asthma in the world, with an estimated 14.7 % of the population having asthma, making it the most common chronic disease in childhood and the most common respiratory illness in Ireland. METHOD The aim of this qualitative enquiry, involving participant focus groups, was to investigate the health and well-being of Irish adults who have asthma, with particular interest in the influences on their health and well-being. The study population was recruited from the Asthma Society of Ireland database of members. Data were collected in eight focus group interviews and analysed for themes. RESULTS Asthma was found to have a significant impact on the health and well-being of participants due to symptom experience, treatments they had to undertake, and the repercussions of uncontrollable events or triggers. The unrelenting pressure of managing their asthma took a toll on many of the participants, who felt their lifestyle had changed dramatically and they had lost some or all of their control over their health and well-being.