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When we breathe, air passes through our airways (the tubes that carry air into and out of the lungs) to get to our lungs. In someone with asthma, the airways are inflamed, which means that they swell and produce lots of thick mucus. The muscles surrounding the airways also tighten, which makes the already clogged airways even narrower. These narrow, swollen, and mucus-filled airways are obstructed - in other words, they don't let air through as easily as healthy airways. Obstructed airways can lead to symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses and treatment, consult your doctor.
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Download Spring 2014 (PDF)
In the spirit of the holidays, patients, parents and doctors share inspirational stories of healing and hope. From surviving heart failure and a near-death drowning to battling a flesh-eating disease, witness how the impossible became possible thanks to the care patients received at Seattle Children's Hospital.
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