Exercise Asthma Prevention

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Exercise-induced-Asthma“Exercise asthma” or as it is more commonly called “exercised induced asthma” can trigger an attack in 80 to 90 percent of people with asthma.  In fact, even amateur and professional athletes have particularly high rates of exercised-induced asthma, with studies finding that between 11 and 50 percent are affected.

However make no mistake: exercise-induced asthma, also called exercise induced bronchospasm, is asthma. It’s not a type of asthma, an “asthma-like” condition or a separate disease. It is almost always diagnosed shortly after a person has had an asthma attack or spasm of the bronchial airways, usually with the symptoms starting 5 to 15 minutes after beginning or ending physical exertion. The main cause isn’t really known, but researchers suspect it’s related to the loss of heat, water or both from the lungs during exercise. This occurs because of the common tendency to breath through the mouth when exercising, so cooler air is taken in verses warmer air which passes through the nose (which warms and moistens it).

Some asthmatics may go months before learning they may have exercise-induced asthma. This is because the breathlessness and wheezing they experience after exercising may be the only symptoms of their exercise-induced asthma leading them think that they may only get out of breath easily. That could be why one study found unrecognized exercise-induced asthma in as many as 29 percent of athletes studied.

Exercise-Induced Asthma Prevention Tips

As with any form of asthma, medication plays a major role in controlling the symptoms, but there are several non-medical tips you can use to possibly avoid exercise-induced asthma:

  • Improve your overall physical condition. The better shape you’re in, the stronger your lungs are. Thus, they’ll be less sensitive to the cool, dry air you may take in while exercising.
  • Warm up for at least 10 minutes before you start exercising.
  • Try not to exercise outside in cold weather. If you must (as with skiing), cover your mouth and nose with a scarf or face mask to help warm and moisten the air. Exercise in warm, humidified environments. Swimming in a heated indoor pool is actually considered a good exercise for persons with exercise-induced asthma.
  • Try not to exercise outside in areas of high pollution or at times when the air quality is poor.
  • Wait at least 2 hours after eating before exercising. This ensures that your stomach has emptied and reduces the risk of gastric reflux or heartburn.
  • Try to breath through your nose, not your mouth when possible.

Make sure you always have an EpiPen with you and you know how to administer it to yourself during an emergency attack.

Go to Exercise Asthma for more information about Exercise-Induced Asthma.

Related posts: Avoiding Asthma Attacks.

About the author: Stan K. Hall a.k.a. The Sick House Doctor is a recognized specialist in Indoor Air Pollution as well as Health & Safety in the home. He has performed over 400 indoor environmental evaluations over the past 26 years and has helped hundreds of homeowners make their homes a haven. He is widely known as the originator of T.E.A.M., the scientifically proven approach to controlling and resolving indoor air pollution.

Exercise Induced Asthma

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