Asthma and Allergies

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions on asthma and allergies.

What Happens to Your Body When you Have an Asthma Attack?

Dr. Allen explains: What Happens to Your Body When You Have an Asthma Attack?


Here’s what happens when you have an asthma attack:

  • When you come into contact with a trigger – something like mold or air pollution that bothers your lungs – your airways start to react, causing the tiny muscles around them to tighten.
  • Your airways become swollen and inflamed.
  • As your airways tighten, they get narrow, so less air gets to your lungs.
  • This narrowing can also cause cells in the airways to make more mucus than usual; this thick, sticky mucus makes airways even more narrow.
  • Narrowed airways are what cause an asthma attack because so little air can pass through, making it difficult to breathe.

Talk with your doctor to understand more about what happens to your body when you have an asthma attack.

Call 911 if You Have Symptoms of a Serious Asthma Attack:

  • Call 911 right away if you have symptoms of a serious asthma attack, such as:
  • Severe trouble breathing
  • Being so out of breath you can’t finish a sentence or walk across the room
  • Lips or fingers turning blue
  • Feeling like you’re about to pass out

Learn more:

Source: Anessa Alappatt, MD, Fairborn Medical Center; J. Douglas Aldstadt, MD, Family Physicians of Englewood; Joseph Allen, MD, Family Medicine of Vandalia; Michael Chunn, MD, Michael A. Chunn, MD, Family Practice; Chandan Gupta, MD, Monroe Medical Center; Joseph Leithold, MD, Woodcroft Family Practice; Anne Reitz, MD, Centerville Family Medicine; Grenetta Ritenour, CNP, Jamestown Family Medicine; Melinda Ruff, MD, Centerville Family Medicine; Marcus Washington, MD, Premier Health Family Medicine; Mark Williams, MD, Beavercreek Family Medicine