An asthma attack is a severe symptom of asthma where your airways get tighter and you begin to have extreme difficulty breathing. During an asthma attack, three things may happen.
You can experience a bronchospasm, which is where the muscles around your airways constrict, narrowing your airways and making it difficult to breathe, as air cannot flow freely through constricted airways.
You can also experience inflammation, where the lining of your airways become swollen, which causes breathing problems due to swollen airways causing less air to reach your lungs.
You may have increased mucus production, where your body creates more mucus during the attack which clogs airways.
Asthma attacks can often be life threatening, as they disrupt lung function and create issues when trying to receive enough air.