Exercise-Induced Asthma – Get the Scoop

Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle

Certainly you’ve heard of asthma, but have you ever heard anyone mention Exercise-Induced Asthma (EIA)?

If not, you’ve come to the right place to get the scoop.  When exercising, you breathe faster and typically through your mouth; breathing through your mouth causes the air to be dryer and cooler than if you were to breathe normally – through your nose.  The dry and cool air makes the conditions just right for experiencing EIA.  Interestingly, 80-90% of individuals with allergic asthma face symptoms of EIA when engaging in vigorous exercise.  Symptoms of EIA may be observed during exercise and worsen 5-10 minutes after stopping exercise – they’ll typically cease 20-30 minutes later.

Such Exercise-Induced Asthma symptoms include:

  • Coughing (most common)
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness
  • Shortness of breath

Sports that involve intermittent period of exercise are normally better tolerated by individuals with EIA.  Some examples include:

  • Walking
  • Volleyball
  • Gymnastics
  • Baseball
  • Swimming (the humid air is a plus)

Some sports that could easily cause a “flare-up” are:

  • Distance running
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Ice-hockey/ice-skating (because of having to breathe in cold air)

TIP:  If you suspect that you or your child may be affected by exercise-induced asthma, it’s important to contact a healthcare provider before engaging in any exercise regimen.  The good news is that having this condition does not mean that you cannot be a successful athlete.  In fact, many Olympians have exercise-induced asthma yet are very distinguished in their sport.

Source: “Exercise-Induced Asthma”,  Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

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