Up to 90% of children and adults with asthma have an attack shortly after they start athletic activities. Our team at Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates in Tampa and Brandon, Florida, has years of experience helping patients overcome this challenge, called exercise-induced asthma, giving each person the ability to stay active and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Call the nearest office today or connect online to learn more about exercise-induced asthma or request an appointment.
People with exercise-induced asthma, also called exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), have an asthma flare-up when they start exercising. In most cases, they already have asthma, but people without asthma can develop the same condition.
When you exercise, your body needs more oxygen, so your breathing increases, and most people inhale through their mouths. Problems arise because breathing through your nose naturally warms and moistens the air you inhale.
Heavy breathing through your mouth while exercising draws a lot of cold, dry air into your lungs, just a small amount of which can trigger an asthma attack.
You also inhale more air pollutants, pollen, and other particles, worsening the problem.
Exercise-induced asthma causes the same symptoms as a typical asthma flare-up, including:
These symptoms begin within five to 20 minutes after starting to exercise.
If you haven’t already been diagnosed with asthma, your Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates provider performs lung-function tests to diagnose the cause of your symptoms. They then create a personalized treatment based on your diagnosis and the severity of your asthma.
Having exercise-induced asthma doesn’t mean you must give up your athletic activities. Your treatment begins with following your routine asthma treatments. Then your provider also prescribes medication to take before you exercise.
Pre-exercise inhalers open your airways and prevent exercise-induced asthma. But you also need to limit the number of times you use it. Your Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates provider gives you detailed guidelines about how often you can use the inhaler.
If pre-exercise medication doesn’t help, your provider could prescribe long-term control medication or adjust your current dosage if you already take it.
You might need to switch activities if the medication doesn’t improve your symptoms. But most patients can stick with their current athletics. If you need to change sports, you can choose from a wide range of activities that lower your risk of exercise-induced asthma. For example, swimming, walking, and team sports like baseball and football are less likely to trigger asthma.
Call Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates today or click the online booking link to request an appointment and learn more about overcoming exercise-induced asthma.