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What Is Asthma

Each time you inhale, air moves down the windpipe (trachea) and through the bronchial tubes (bronchioles). These tubes, or airways in your lungs, are a vital part of the breathing process. The tubes lead into air sacs called alveoli. Oxygen passes through the thin walls of the alveoli into the blood vessels. Then carbon dioxide passes from the blood through the air sacs to be exhaled. 

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that mainly affects the bronchial tubes by blocking airflow through them. During an asthma attack, the tubes become inflamed and obstructed, and the air sacs become enlarged.

Changes in Airways

Bronchial tube obstruction may occur because of one or more of the following changes:
  • Inflammation: Lining of the tubes becomes inflamed (irritated) and swollen
  • Bronchospasm: Smooth muscles surrounding the bronchial tubes constrict (narrow)
  • Mucus production: Mucus builds up in the tubes, and it may plug them completely
Know when to get help for your asthma resource guide book cover

Know When To Get Help For Your Asthma

There are many different types of asthma but no matter the trigger, any asthma attack can be scary. Many people find themselves wondering when to seek follow up care. In essence they wonder, “How bad does it have to get before I need to go in?” Dr. Bubak has developed this resource to help you determine when you should get follow up care for your asthma.