Asthmaasthma awarenessAsthma EducationCOPDlung anatomyLung physiology

Asthma Tree

We all have an upside down tree in our chests. The trunk resembles the main bronchus (the windpipe), the branches are the large and small airways, and the bright green leaves are the little air sacs (alveoli) where oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange takes place.

These are healthy lungs….

In some forms of COPD, such as Emphysema, the trunk, the branches, and the leaves become stiff and brittle, and the tree slowly withers away.

dead tree

With severe asthma, the trunk and branches can become stiff and scarred, but the leaves often remain green. The tree struggles, but it manages to survive for long time.

Lungs - tree

This is my tree. My branches are narrowed and scarred, but my O2 sats are usually normal because my leaves are still intact and functioning.

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2 thoughts on “Asthma Tree

  1. Like the graphics. God knows what my lungs look like. Bits of the branches have died off, the vascular bits, leaving big gaps in the structure. Maybe like a helicopter has crashed into it? The airways bits are constricted at the twiggy end, there is permanent air trapping, more gaps? Perfect nesting site for an owl. But, yes, amazingly sats are often OK. Until I’m on my feet for longer than half an hour. Then they drop. Last exercise test down to 79% . Five and a half years and still no diagnosis, apart from chronic thromboembolic disease. Small airways for sure but which one? Choice of about six. Time to stick a pin in?
    Cheesed off,
    Thanks for inspiring us,
    Love and hugs
    Kate xxxx

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