What happens to your lungs during an asthma attack?

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What happens inside your lungs to make it hard to breathe during an asthma attack?

During an asthma attack your lungs are working with less capacity, sometimes a lot less. An asthma attack is an involuntary reaction to something foreign at work in your lungs and something triggers the reaction like smoke or an allergen for some people. Illness can cause it or even exercise and things like cold air can cause asthma attacks. Lungs have to strain harder to get air but also to expel the air that is brought in. The lungs are made of tiny sacs called alveoli. They are the clusters at the end of every branch in your lungs, almost like groups of leaves or balloons or fruit on tree branches. You have millions of these little air sacs in each lung so they are very small. The alveoli are where your lungs get the oxygen into your body in your bloodstream. When asthma hits, the alveoli swell and fill with mucus or foreign matter. The muscles around them tighten up too almost like bands tightening across a surface. The balloons basically get filled, making it impossible for your lungs to fill with oxygen properly while you are breathing. When you try to exhale, the normal capacity is not there either and the lungs cannot get rid of bad air because the force is not there to push it out. As the alveoli fill further and further the capacity for your lungs to hold and expel air gets less and less until you can barely breathe. The wheezing is your body fighting to get air in and out. It feels a little like being suffocated. If the attack is bad oxygen levels begin to drop. The worse it is, the more life threatening it can be. The more the alveoli are blocked, the more intense the asthma attack is. When you can’t get a breath because of asthma, your lungs can’t do their work. Mama Nono

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The answer to "What happens to your lungs during an asthma attack?"

Question asked on May 14, 2010at 1:00 am:: Comments (0)
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