Allergies to dust, pollen, and other substances in the environment are common asthma triggers, but some people find that exercise triggers their asthma symptoms. If you start wheezing and coughing during or after exercise, the specialty medical center of Wasatch Allergy and Asthma can help. They have a team of asthma specialists, led by allergist Eric Chenworth, DO, at their offices in Salt Lake City and Riverton, Utah, who have the expertise to help minimize and relieve the effects of exercise-induced asthma. Find out more by calling Wasatch Allergy and Asthma or requesting an appointment online.
Exercised-induced asthma (EIA) is a form of asthma in which narrowing of the airways in your lungs occurs when you exercise. Symptoms of EIA are the same as those for other forms of asthma, namely:
Symptoms can start during exercise or within 20 minutes of stopping exercising.
Although commonly referred to as exercise-induced asthma, the preferred term for EIA is exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB).
Asthma is a condition in which the airways in your lungs, called bronchi, start to spasm. This causes breathing difficulties as the muscles around the airways tighten.
Asthma usually develops when your airways become hypersensitive to allergens like dust and pollen. With EIA, it’s set off by strenuous physical exercise or airborne triggers that you encounter when you’re exercising.
Exercise is essential to good health and has many benefits, so you shouldn’t stop exercising. The answer is to find ways to exercise while reducing your risk of having an EIA attack.
The activities that cause the highest number of EIA attacks are those in which you’re regularly active for long periods, especially if it’s cold and dry. Sports that are most likely to induce EIA include:
If you only exercise for short periods or do less strenuous forms of exercise, like walking, you’re less likely to experience an EIA attack.
The team at Wasatch Allergy and Asthma has considerable expertise and experience in finding the right solutions to help you continue exercising and playing sports.
In addition to helping you manage EIA with ideas on how to reduce your risk, for example, ways to avoid breathing cold, dry air, the team at Wasatch Allergy and Asthma can prescribe medications:
These stop your symptoms immediately. You can take them 15-30 minutes before energetic exercise, and they typically prevent symptoms for up to four hours.
Corticosteroid inhalers help relieve the inflammation and narrowing in your bronchial airways. This is a longer-term solution that can take between two and four weeks to reach optimum potency.
You take these 30-60 minutes before exercise, and they help prevent symptoms for up to 12 hours. You should only take this medication once within any 12-hour period, and always with an inhaled corticosteroid.
Montelukast is a leukotriene receptor inhibitor that’s also FDA approved for treating EIA. You take the medication once a day to help prevent symptoms.
If you’re competing in sports, you must check with your governing body which medications are allowed before competing.
Find out more about EIA and how to manage it by calling Wasatch Allergy and Asthma or requesting an appointment online.