Asthma & Exercise
With the start of the new school year comes the exciting time for our children to also participate in school sports activities. Ensuring they can participate safely is important!
Did you know that an estimated 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma? For many people, exercise triggers asthma symptoms, which is referred to as “exercise induced bronchoconstriction” (EIB).
What are symptoms of EIB?
- Chest tightness
- Shortness of breath
What are triggers of EIB?
- Low temperatures
- Dry air
- Pollens or reduced air quality while exercising outdoors
How is EIB diagnosed?
- An Allergy/Asthma specialist can perform spirometry (breathing test)
- Some patients also benefit from an exercise-challenge test (spirometry before and after exercise)
How is EIB treated?
- If EIB is found to be associated with more generalized asthma, a daily controller medication can help
- For patients who have just EIB, using an inhaler such as albuterol (which relaxes the muscles of the airways to open them up) before exercise can often be enough
- It can also be useful to warm-ups and cool-downs
- The goal of an EIB treatment plan is to keep symptoms under control so that your child can enjoy exercising
- Team sports that require short bursts of energy like baseball and football are less likely to cause EIB that sports which require ongoing activity such as soccer or basketball
- Cold weather sports such as cross-country skiing and ice hockey are also more likely to cause EIB
An Allergist can figure out the cause of symptoms and develop a treatment plan that keeps them exercising and participating in athletics. Find a Doctor.
DISCLAIMER: The contents and opinions expressed by Everett Clinic teammates and providers on “A Healthier You” blog and those providing comments are theirs alone and are not a substitute for medical advice. Consult your own provider for personal health recommendations.
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