Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments for Exercise- Induced Asthma

What is Exercise-Induced Asthma or Bronchoconstriction?

Along with good food, adequate sleep, exercise is also considered important for the body's agility and fitness. However, people who have asthma can experience symptoms of breathlessness during exercise, which is called exercise-induced asthma. Exercise-induced asthma is caused by the narrowing of the airways in the lungs triggered by exercise.

Causes of Exercise-Induced Asthma

When you exercise, your body's increased demand for oxygen causes you to breathe faster and deeper. You usually breathe through your mouth, which makes the air dry and cold. This dry and cold air blocks the airways. Asthma symptoms increase when exercise is done in cold and dry air. The major reasons for exercise-induced asthma are as follows -

  • The rising level of pollution
  • High pollen
  • Exposure to smoking fumes and other fumes
  • Recent cold or asthma attack
  • Cold or dry air
  • Chemicals

Risk Factor of Exercise-Induced Asthma

Exercise-induced asthma can be risky for the following people:

  • People with asthma: Ninety percent of people with asthma are likely to have exercise-induced asthma. However, the disease is risky even for those who are not already suffering from asthma.
  • Elite Athletes: Although anyone can suffer from this disease, it is more commonly seen in high-level athletes.

Symptoms of Exercise-Induced Asthma

The symptoms of exercise-induced asthma occur after exertion. Its symptoms are as follows:

  • Cough
  • Wheezing
  • Trouble breathing
  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Tiredness while exercising
  • Poor performance in athletic performance
  • Activity avoidance (symptoms mainly for young children)

Symptoms  of Exercise induced asthma

Diagnosis of Exercise-Induced Asthma

To diagnose this disease, your doctor will ask you for your medical history and may do some tests. Your doctor will measure your breathing before, during, and after exercise to test lung function. Your doctor will then help you make a plan so that you can get rid of asthma symptoms and enjoy physical activity.

Normal lung function

Your doctor may do a spirometry test to see how your lungs are working when you are not exercising. Spirometry measures how much air you inhale, and how quickly you exhale. After your test, your doctor may give you medicines (in the form of an inhaler) to open up your air passages.

Exercise challenge tests

Your doctor may ask you to do other tests in order to observe and assess the symptoms of an exercise challenge. You can run on a treadmill or try other methods to increase your breathing rate.

Optional Test

The doctor may recommend an inhalation test as an alternative to an exercise challenge.

Treatment of Exercise-induced Asthma

For the treatment of this disease, the doctor can give you such medicines which you have to take before exercise or take it daily for a long time.

Pre-exercise medicines

Your doctor can give you medicines that you have to take before exercise so that you can get relief from this disease. Talk to your doctor about the amount of time you need to take between taking the medicine and exercising. These medicines are as follows:

  • Beta-agonists inhaled medicines: These medicines help to open the airways. Taking these medicines daily is not recommended. These medicines include albuterol and levalbuterol.
  • Ipratropium: This is an inhaled medicine that relaxes the airways and is effective for some people.

Treatment  of Exercise-induced asthma

Long-term drugs

Your doctor may give you long-term medicines. These medicines usually have to be taken daily. These medicines are as follows:

  • Inhaled corticosteroids: These medicines help reduce the irritation and inflammation of your airways. These medications include fluticasone, budesonide, mometasone, and beclomethasone.
  • Combination inhaler: These include corticosteroids and long-acting beta-agonists (LABAs) that relax the airways. These medicines are as follows-
    • Combination of fluticasone and salmeterol
    • Combination of budesonide and formoterol
    • Combination of mometasone and formoterol
  • Leukotriene modifiers: These medicines are helpful in reducing irritation for some people. Examples include montelukast, zafirlukast and xylutone.

Home Remedies for Exercise-Induced Asthma

Exercising is very important to stay healthy. But if you have exercise-induced asthma, here are the steps you should take:

  • If you have asthma, then do not forget to take asthma medicine as prescribed by the doctor, so that your asthma remains under control.
  • Before exercising daily, warm up for ten minutes.
  • Breathe in through your nose to make the air you inhale warm and moist.
  • Wear a face mask when outside.
  • If you have allergies, avoid triggers like pollen.
  • Try to avoid areas with high levels of air pollution, such as areas with heavy traffic.
  • Get regular exercise to stay in shape and promote good health.

So, now embrace the healthy lifestyle to beat asthma right away. If you have tried everything for exercise induced asthma, and still you are experiencing the same issue, it's time to act now. Consult our doctors at Post Covid Centers, who will provide you their expertise in treating asthma.

Call 469-545-9983 to book a telehealth appointment for a home check-up.

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