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How is asthma different from breathing problems due to a cold or allergies?

Asthma is a condition where the tiny sacs in the lungs (alveoli) that absorb air are essentially "pinched off." This constriction prevents oxygen from either entering or leaving the lungs efficiently. A similar condition can occur with colds or allergies, when breathing is affected by the extra mucus that develops. Because of the differences in the cause of the breathing problems, the treatment is quite different for asthma versus a cold or allergies.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.