Exercise-induced asthma is extremely common among asthmatic patients. In fact, up to 90% of people who have asthma get symptoms of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, or EIB, during physical activity.
If you struggle with asthma, understanding exercise-induced asthma can help you avoid its symptoms. There are many strategies for managing exercise-induced asthma while maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle.
Causes of Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction
Exercise increases the amount of oxygen that the body requires. This causes people to breathe more quickly and deeply while they’re working out. People are also more likely to breathe through their mouths, rather than their noses, when they’re working out. The air that you breathe in through the mouth is typically dryer and lower temperature. This dry, cold air can cause the airways to narrow, leading to bronchoconstriction.
While exercise-induced bronchoconstriction can result solely from the way that you breathe during exercise, other factors can exacerbate EIB symptoms. For example, environmental irritants such as pollen and pollution can increase your risk of EIB. A recent case of the common cold or a recent asthma attack can also boost the probability of an exercise-induced asthma episode.
What Does Exercise-Induced Asthma Feel Like?
Symptoms of exercise-induced asthma typically don’t set in right when you start exercising. Instead, the symptoms may gradually progress throughout your workout and reach a peak in the minutes after you stop exercising.
An asthma-induced asthma attack may cause coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and tightness in the chest. Some people may only get a cough as a result of exercise-induced asthma.
Treating Exercise-Induced Asthma
At Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates of Tampa Bay, our experienced physicians can create an individualized treatment plan for exercise-induced asthma. Treatment typically entails inhaled medications to manage asthma symptoms. Preventative measures, such as warming up prior to exercise and monitoring your respiratory condition throughout a workout, can also help you prevent an exercise-induced asthma attack. Contact us today to learn more.