this animation will show what happens in thelungs during an asthma attack and how a reliever inhaler works to treatit. click the navigation arrows below the animationscreen to play, pause, rewind or fast-forward the animation. this animationcontains sound. air (oxygen) is taken in through the mouthand nose. it then passes through the trachea to thebronchi. asthma is a condition where the airways becomeirritated and inflamed. the bronchi are large tubes which are foundin the lungs. air flows through these tubes.
the bronchi branch and narrow into tubes calledbronchioles. the bronchioles continue to branch and endwith tiny air sacs called alveoli. in healthy lungs, oxygen is taken into thebody through the bronchi and passes into the blood via the alveoli. if you have an asthma attack you may startwheezing, your chest may feel tight and you may be breathless. the muscles in the walls of the airways tightenand the inner surface swells, causing the airways to narrow.
an asthma attack can be triggered by exerciseor an allergy for example, both of which can irritate the airways. when the airways narrow it's harder to breathe. reliever inhalers are used to widen the airwaysso you can breathe more easily if you have an asthma attack. the inhaler contains a gas which propels themedicine into the airways so that the muscle walls relax and the airwaysopen up. when the airways widen it's easier to breathe. this is the end of the animation.
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