MARK CLARKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK CLARKE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Asthma attack. View of a 9 year old girl holding her chest during an asthma attack. Asthma attacks vary greatly, ranging from mild breathlessness to respiratory failure. The main symptoms are wheezing, a dry cough and a feeling of tightness in the chest. During a severe attack it becomes increasingly difficult to breathe, causing distress and anxiety, and eventually the face may turn blue. Bronchial asthma is of two types: allergic, caused by dust, pollen, hair and air pollutants; and intrinsic asthma with no apparent external cause. Treatment involves the use of bronchodilator drugs to widen the constricted airways of the lungs.
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