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During an Asthma Attack

What happens during an asthma attack?

Children with asthma have acute episodes when the air passages in their lungs become narrower, and breathing becomes more difficult. These problems are caused by an oversensitivity of the lungs and airways:

  • The lungs and airways overreact to certain triggers causing:

    • The lining of the airways to become inflamed and swollen

    • Tightening of the muscles that surround the airways

    • An increased production of mucus

    • Decreased air movement through the lungs

  • Breathing becomes harder and may hurt.

  • There may be coughing.

  • There may be a wheezing or whistling sound, which is typical of asthma. Wheezing occurs because of the rush of air that moves through the narrowed airways. If an attack is very severe, there may be no wheezing because so little air is able to move through the airways.

If a child does not receive treatment immediately during an asthma attack, respiratory failure may occur.

Reviewed Date: 07-25-2013

Durante un Ataque de Asma

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.