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What's a Flare-Up?

If you have asthma, you probably know about flare-ups. That's when your asthma symptoms get worse. During a flare-up, you might have:

    * trouble breathing
    * a tight or painful feeling in the chest
    * a whistling sound when you breathe (wheezing)
    * a cough

Flare-ups happen because the airways in your lungs have become more irritated and swollen (puffy) than usual. The lungs may make sticky mucus, which clogs the airways. And the muscles around the airways tighten up, making the airways really narrow. These troubles in the lungs make it tough to pull air in and push air out.
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