HomeExercise:  The Basics of Excercised Induced Asthma

What to Know about Excercise Induced Asthma

Excercise induced asthma is either becoming more common or more frequently diagnosed because the numbers of both children and adults who suffer from this condition seem to be rising every year. With all of the pollution, cigarette smoke, and smog that affect the quality of the air that people breathe every day, it really is no wonder that respiratory problems and ailments are becoming more common. However, excercise induced asthma is often not a debilitating condition as are some other respiratory diseases like normal asthma, emphysema, or others. In fact, with the proper knowledge and treatment, excercise induced asthma does not even have to have that great of an impact on anyone's life or athletic participation.

Dealing with Excercise Induced Asthma

Excercise induced asthma is related to the normal kind of asthma except that the restriction of the airway, shortness of breath, and wheezing only occurs during or after excercise as opposed to other times during the day. It is not clear what the exact causes of excercise induced asthma are and the condition can be hard to diagnose, especially in children, because the symptoms generally only appear when the person is engaged in strenuous physical activity. However, there are breathing tests and airway function tests that can help determine if a person is actually suffering from this respiratory ailment or merely experiencing the normal shortness of breath associated with demanding physical excercise and oxygen depletion.

Some people who prefer to spend their days on their couches, watching television and eating potato chips, may welcome a diagnosis of excercise induced asthma, believing that their condition now prevents them from engaging in physical activity. This response is completely unwarranted and unjustified in most cases, however, because excercise induced asthma is relatively easy to control. With the help of a basic albuterol inhaler--2 puffs before beginning excercise--most sufferers of excercise induced asthma can prevent or decrease the severity of any attacks they may have during or after excercise. If problems still occur, two more puffs of the albuterol inhaler can be taken as an emergency option once breathing becomes restricted.

Learning proper breathing techniques and teaching others effective ways to help the asthma sufferer control his or her breathing is another way to deal with the condition--and this method requires less medication. If the person excercising monitors his or her breathing and adjusts the intensity of the activity based on emerging problems, severe breathing problems can often be avoided. Additionally, once people learn how to slow down their breathing, focusing on breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth, attacks can often be halted or corrected without an inhaler. It is not uncommon to find competitive athletes, including runners, cyclists and others, performing at optimal levels while dealing with excercise induced asthma, so if you receive this diagnosis, do not let it limit your activities if at all possible.

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