Asthma: an animation 

Asthma is a chronic condition affecting the lungs which can be managed but not cured. This animation explains in detail what happens when someone has asthma.

Learn more about asthma

Transcript of Asthma: an animation

Asthma is a chronic, long-term condition

that can be managed but not cured.

Asthma affects the airways of your lungs.

It causes the airways to narrow and swell,

resulting in wheezing

and difficulty breathing.

During breathing, or respiration,

air goes in through our nose or mouth...

..to the upper airways,

at which point it reaches the windpipe,...

..which branches into two large bronchi...

..to reach the lungs.

The lungs are protected by the ribcage,

which also contains the muscles that control your breathing.

In asthma, the airways are oversensitive

and easily irritated by certain triggers, called asthmatic triggers.

Most people with asthma are described as atopic,

meaning they have an allergic-type reaction to external triggers, such as:

However, for some people, the onset of asthma is unpredictable

and may be caused by anxiety, stress

or even laughter.

An asthmatic trigger causes the airway walls to swell...

..and the muscles around the airways to contract.

The airways narrow,

and breathing through them produces a whistling sound called wheezing.

Mucus is produced from the lining of the airways,

which clogs up the narrowed airways further and causes coughing.

This makes normal breathing more difficult,

producing symptoms of asthma that can be mild,...

moderate,...

or severe and life threatening, where hospital treatment is needed.

The narrowing of the airways is reversible

if the trigger is removed

or if the inflammation is treated medically.

Therefore, preventative treatment is used

and can be managed by the patient themselves.

An acute asthma attack requires medical intervention

but the type of intervention depends on the severity of the attack.

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