Also known as: Wheezing - exercise-induced and Reactive airway disease - exercise
- Breathe through your nose.
- Wear a scarf or mask over your mouth.
- To warm up, walk or do your exercise activity slowly before you speed up.
- The longer you warm up, the better.
- To cool down, walk or do your exercise activity slowly for several minutes.
- Swimming is a good sport for people with EIA. The warm, moist air helps keep asthma symptoms away.
- Football, baseball, and other sports with periods when you do not move fast are less likely to trigger your asthma symptoms.
- Take them 10 to 15 minutes before exercise.
- They can help for up to 4 hours.
- Use them at least 30 minutes before exercise.
- They can help for up to 12 hours. Children can take this medicine before school, and it will help for the whole day.
- Be aware that using this kind of medicine every day before exercise will make it less effective over time.
Sometimes exercise triggers asthma symptoms. This is called exercise-induced asthma (EIA).
The symptoms of EIA are coughing, wheezing, a feeling of tightness in your chest, or shortness of breath. Most times, these symptoms start soon after you stop exercising. Some people may have symptoms after they start exercising.
Be Careful Where and When you Exercise
Having asthma symptoms when you exercise does not mean you cannot or should not exercise. But be aware of your EIA triggers.
Cold or dry air may trigger your asthma symptoms. If you do exercise in cold or dry air:
DO NOT exercise when the air is polluted. DO NOT exercise near fields or lawns that have just been mowed.
Warm up before you exercise, and cool down afterward:
Some kinds of exercise may be less likely to trigger asthma symptoms than others.
Activities that keep you moving fast all the time are more likely to trigger asthma symptoms, such as running, basketball, or soccer.
Use Your Asthma Medicine Before you Exercise
Take your short-acting, or quick-relief, inhaled medicines before you exercise.
Long-acting, inhaled medicines may also help.
Follow your doctor's advice on which medicines to use and when.
Lugogo N, Que LG, Gilstrap DL, Kraft M. Asthma. In: Broaddus VC, Mason RJ, Ernst JD, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 42.
Weiler JM, Anderson SD, Randolph C, et al. Pathogenesis, prevalence, diagnosis, and management of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction: a practice parameter. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2010;105(6 Suppl):S1-S47. PMID: 21167465 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21167465.
- Review date:
- February 02, 2016
- Reviewed by:
- Denis Hadjiliadis, MD, MHS, Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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