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Asthma is a disease affecting the airways that carry air to and from your lungs. People who suffer from this chronic condition (long-lasting or recurrent) are said to be asthmatic. The inside walls of an asthmatic's airways are swollen or inflamed. This swelling or inflammation makes the airways extremely sensitive to irritations and increases your susceptibility to an allergic reaction. The inflammation among the passagess makes the breathing tubes, or airways, of the person with asthma highly sensitive to various "triggers"

1) When the inflammation is "triggered" by any number of external and internal factors, the walls of the passages swell, and the openings fill with mucus.

2) Muscles within the breathing passages contract (bronchospasm), causing even further narrowing of the airways.

3) This narrowing makes it difficult for air to be breathed out (exhaled) from the lungs.

4) This resistance to exhaling leads to the typical symptoms of an asthma attack.

What happens during an asthma attack?

1) The muscles around your airways tighten up, narrowing the airway.

2) Less air is able to flow through the airway.

3) Inflammation of the airways increases, further narrowing the airway.

4) More mucus is produced in the airways, undermining the flow of air even more.