Anatomy of an Asthma Attack
Asthma attacks are terrifying to watch and even worse to experience. But what is really happening in the body?
By Dr. Sanjay Gupta
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Breathing is something we don’t need to think about, until suddenly we can’t do it. Then breathing becomes all you can think about.
Doctors now believe almost all asthma is caused by allergies. An allergen like pollen or mold spores triggers an immune response in the bronchial tubes leading to the lungs.
The smooth muscles surrounding the bronchial tubes begin to tighten,narrowing the airway. The bronchial tubes themselves become inflamed and swollen, which narrows the airways even further.
Finally, the inflamed membranes inside the bronchial tubes secrete a thick mucus. This can narrow the tubes to the point where almost no air is passing at all.
Asthma can range from a mild annoyance to a life-threatening emergency. But asthma is treatable.
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