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What happens in an asthma attack?

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An asthma attack is a sudden worsening of asthma symptoms caused by the tightening of muscles around your airways. Doctors call this a bronchospasm. During the attack, the lining of your airways gets swollen or inflamed and you produce thicker than normal mucus. All of these factors -- bronchospasm, inflammation, and mucus production -- cause symptoms of an asthma attack like trouble breathing, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and difficulty performing normal daily activities.

From: Asthma Attack WebMD Medical Reference

Sources:  American Lung Association: "An Asthma Attack."  National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "What are the Signs and Symptoms of Asthma?"

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on October 22, 2018

Sources:  American Lung Association: "An Asthma Attack."  National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "What are the Signs and Symptoms of Asthma?"

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on October 22, 2018

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What are the early warning signs of an asthma attack?

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