An Asthma Attack
Doctors are not exactly certain how you get asthma, but they do know that once you have it your lungs react to multiple triggers that can initiate an asthma attack. For instance, when you have asthma you might get an asthma attack when you have a cold or other type of respiratory infection.
Or, you might get an attack when you breathe something that bothers your lungs such as cigarette smoke, dust, feathers, pollen, mold or dust mites. When this happens, three changes take place in your lungs:
1. Cells in your air tubes make more mucus than normal. This mucus is very thick and sticky and tends to clog up the tubes.
2. The air tubes tend to swell just as skin swells when you get a scrape.
3. The muscles in your air tubes tighten.
These above changes cause the air tubes to narrow and makes it hard to breathe. Asthma attacks may start suddenly or they may take a long time, even days, to develop. Attacks can be severe, moderate, or mild.