Doesn't this sound like a cross between a dinosaur and a snake? Actually, bronchoconstriction affects the airways in a person's lungs. You can think of airways like straws or tubes. They let air flow in and out so you can breathe. These airways have muscles, but not the kind you flex! When bronchoconstriction occurs, the muscles surrounding the airways contract, or tighten. This narrows the airways so there's less space inside for air to get through. Bronchoconstriction happens to people who have asthma, but asthma medicines can help relax the muscles in the airways and make breathing easier.