How Is Eia Treated
If you have exercise-induced asthma, your doctor might want you to take asthma medicine before being really active. This is often the same quick-relief medicine used for flare-ups. You breathe the medicine directly into your lungs before exercising and it works immediately to open up the airways. Doctors sometimes call this pretreatment.
If pretreatment isnt enough, your doctor may recommend that you also take daily long-term control medicine. This works over time to help keep the airways open. You need to take it every day, even when you feel well.
Many people find that if they take medicine as prescribed by their doctors, they can work out with few or no problems.
How Is Eia Diagnosed
To decide if you have EIA, a doctor will probably start by asking about your medical history. The doctor will also examine you. You might run on a treadmill for 6 to 8 minutes, run outside, or do the activity that caused your symptoms. Then, the doctor will look at how youre breathing.
Some people with EIA think theyre having breathing trouble because theyre not in shape. But someone whos winded from being out of shape will start breathing normally again soon after exercise stops. Someone with EIA may take up to an hour to recover.
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Pay Attention To Your Body
While its easy to zone out while running, its important to stay in tune with your body.
Make sure that youre familiar with the normal signs of exercising, such as:
You should also know the symptoms of an asthma attack, which arent normal during exercise. They may include:
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Increase Your Caffeine Consumption
If you are a coffee addict, suffering from asthma, there is good news for you! Caffeine is a great natural element that can help reduce the symptoms of asthma. Caffeine contains properties that are similar to theophylline, which is a medicinal drug used to treat various issues that are caused by asthma like shortness of breath, wheezing, and chest tightness.
If you are not a coffee addict, do not worry as caffeine is present in a lot of other drinks like black or green tea, cocoa drinks, chocolate, energy drinks, and chocolate-flavored food items. So, there are a lot of options for you even if you do not like coffee.
Symptoms Like Coughing Wheezing And Feeling Breathless Could Mean You Have Asthma See Your Gp To Confirm A Diagnosis Of Asthma And Start Treatment
Find out why its important to get a diagnosis so you can start treatment for asthma, how asthma is diagnosed, and how you can take positive steps to stay symptom free after a diagnosis.
- tightness in the chest
- feeling short of breath.
Not everyone with asthma will get all of these. For example, not everyone wheezes. But if youre experiencing one or more of these symptoms, make an appointment with your GP.
Most people with well-managed asthma only have symptoms now and then. But some people have symptoms a lot of the time, particularly the small percentage of people with severe asthma.
A key thing with asthma is that symptoms come and go you may not have them all the time.
Why its important to see your GP to confirm a diagnosis
If youve noticed asthma-like symptoms, dont ignore them. Make an appointment with your GP or an asthma nurse as soon as you can.
The quicker you get diagnosed, the quicker you can get the right medicines to help you deal with your symptoms.
Asthma is a long-term condition that needs regular preventer treatment. If its not treated, it could lead to an asthma attack which can be life-threatening.
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Exercises To Avoid With Asthma
You should avoid exercising in environments that may trigger asthma. This includes sports requiring a high level of intensity for greater than five to eight minutes in cold or dry air, such as:
- Long-distance running
Since exercise-induced asthma is typically seen after two to 10 minutes of heavy exercise, according to Lucas, you’ll know right away if the exercise is triggering your asthma. And, what should you do? Stop exercising? Go to the doctor immediately? Even after you stop exercising, you may still experience asthma symptoms.
Do You Always Need To Use An Inhaler When Working Out
In short, no. But if you do feel tightness in your lungs, not just shortness of breath, Dr. Kanarek recommends taking a daily inhaler with a steroid medication to stop the exercise-induced asthma flare-ups.
Using a daily inhaler will prevent scarring of the lungs, improve lung function, and allow for normal activity, he says.
Consult with your doctor about the best plan of action to reduce your wheezing while working out.
If you are concerned about your lung capacity during exercise, Dr. Kanarek suggests you ask your doctor to perform a spirometry to measures your lung function.
Also ask for a nitrous oxide test to evaluate inflammation of your lungs. Both tests will help determine if you might benefit from a daily medication or if you should stick to using a rescue inhaler on a need-be basis.
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Try To Consume More Ginger
One of the easiest home remedies for asthma you can try is to up your daily ginger consumption. Ginger can prove to be a great natural remedy for asthma for its anti-inflammatory properties. In a controlled study in 2013, scientists discovered that oral ginger supplements can lead to an improvement in asthma symptoms in patients. Although it was not confirmed whether the herb leads to an overall improvement in lung functions or not.
However, if you are someone with asthma, and looking for home remedies, you can surely try upping your ginger consumption game and monitor the results. Let us know if it works for you in the comments below.
Know Your Asthma Action Plan
Work with your doctor to create an asthma action plan.
This plan will include preventive measures to control your symptoms. For example, your doctor may have you use a daily inhaler for long-term management. This can soothe airway inflammation, which decreases your overall risk of flare-ups.
They might also have you use a rescue inhaler 15 minutes before running. A rescue inhaler contains medicine that rapidly opens the airways.
Also, ask your doctor what to do if youre running without an inhaler and have an asthma attack. They can discuss breathing exercises and signs you need emergency help.
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Ruling Out Other Possibilities
You may be tested again after using a bronchodilator like an albuterol inhaler. If the inhaler doesnt improve symptoms, you might have exercise-induced vocal cord dysfunction instead of EIB. Vocal cord dysfunction symptoms will also stop as soon as exercise is stopped.
Bronchial hyperresponsiveness can also mimic EIB when the airways overreact to inhaling allergens or airborne irritants, causing cough and phlegm production.
There are a number of prescription medications that can help control exercise-induced asthma. Heres your cheat sheet for medication options.
Signs That Exercise Is Triggering Your Asthma Symptoms
Whether youre out for a run, playing team sports, or cycling to work, dont ignore important signs like:
- needing to use your reliever inhaler
- stopping to catch your breath.
Exercise or allergy?
- If exercise is the trigger, you might notice symptoms coming on after youve exercised. You may need about 30-60 minutes to recover.
- If an allergy is the trigger, , you might notice symptoms during exercise.
Normal exercise symptoms or asthma symptoms?
Its normal to breathe faster or more deeply when we do any strenuous exercise, whether thats Zumba or running up the stairs.
So how can you tell if youre breathless because of the exertion or because your asthma symptoms are flaring up?
Look out for these asthma signs:
- Feeling very short of breath, or like you cant breathe enough air in
- A tight feeling in your chest.
If you have any of these symptoms when you exercise, see your GP to review your asthma.
Always carry your reliever inhaler
Always have your blue reliever inhaler with you so you can quickly deal with asthma symptoms or an asthma attack. Call 999 if your reliever inhaler is not helping.
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What To Do When Exercising With Asthma
The following steps will help you exercise with asthma no matter what type of exercise you choose:
Who Is At Risk Of Thunderstorm Asthma
Even people who do not have a history of asthma are at risk of thunderstorm asthma. However, research has shown some people can be more susceptible to pollen than others. This includes:
- children with a food allergy or eczema
- those with exposure to high levels of air pollution
- those with lower socioeconomic status, as reduced access to health care and poor quality housing can exacerbate symptoms.
In our research, we found people with co-existing allergic conditions to be more impacted by pollen compared to those with single allergic conditions .
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How Else Can Pollen Cause Harm
Even outside of thunderstorms, pollen alone can cause asthma attacks requiring hospitalisations, respiratory symptoms such as wheezing and runny nose, and reduced lung function, making it harder to breath.
Despite a low mortality rate, allergic asthma and hay fever can cause further burdens such as additional health-care costs and poorer physical and mental health.
Our yet-to-be-published research has shown grass pollen may trigger a general state of heightened immune responses, leading to increased risk of eczema flares in children.
Other studies have indicated children with eczema experience more symptoms such as a higher intensity of itchiness and rash on days with high levels of grass pollen.
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How Can You Prepare
So, what can you do to prepare for the grass pollen season and the threat of thunderstorm asthma?
- keep an eye on pollen counts
- keep doors and windows closed on high pollen days
- use air purifiers
- stay indoors during high pollen counts or thunderstorm asthma alerts
- plant non-allergenic flowers if you have a garden
- keep wearing a face mask. Masks have shown to be very effective in reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection and pollen-induced respiratory symptoms
- take anti-asthma medications. Reliever medications are available over-the-counter. Preventer medications offer much stronger protection but require a prescription from a doctor. They also need to be used preventatively in the setting of pollen-induced asthma, or in severe hay fever, to prevent thunderstorm asthma
- take antihistamines such as Zyrtec, which can be used both on an as-needed basis or more regularly through the pollen season. However, it does not treat or prevent asthma.
If you know you suffer from asthma, hay fever or pollen allergy, you are at risk of thunderstorm asthma. Aside from taking advantage of warning systems and staying out of the storm, you should see your doctor and have an asthma puffer at hand through the pollen season to keep yourself safe. Your doctor can advise you on the correct treatment.
Refer to the following websites for useful daily pollen information in Australia: AirRater or AusPollen.
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Exercising Safely With Asthma
People with asthma may be more sensitive to extremes in temperature, dry air, allergens, and pollution. At rest, breathing through the nose moistens, warms, and filters air before it gets into the lungs. With exercise, most people breathe through their mouth, which may trigger asthma symptoms, so people exercising with asthma may feel better breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. People with asthma should not overexert themselves, as this may trigger asthma symptoms. Consistent exercise is generally better tolerated, but patients with asthma should stop exercising for significant symptoms.
What Exercises Can People With Asthma Do
While those who suffer from asthma are recommended to exercise regularly, it is also recommended that they not overdo their exercise. Some of the best exercises for asthmatic people are:
- Yoga- Yoga is a great breathing exercise as well as physical exercise. Practicing mindful breathing can expand and strengthen your diaphragm muscles.
- Hiking- Sometimes hiking is exhausting and difficult for those who suffer with asthma. If you pick a flat trail and make sure there are no allergens or irritants in the air, the experience should be fun and worthwhile.
- Indoor swimming- Going indoor swimming is really helpful for asthma sufferers. The pressure of the water and warm atmosphere of the indoor pool should relieve any tension or pressure that asthma causes in the chest.
- Biking- Going for a bike ride at a leisurely pace can greatly improve lung health. If it isnt possible to go bike riding outside, stationary bikes provide the same health benefits for asthma sufferers.
- Walking- Going for daily walks is great for the body and can help facilitate easier breathing.
It is important to make sure that you have your rescue inhaler with you if you are partaking in any exercise just in case asthma symptoms become active or worsen.
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Can I Prevent Exercise
With planning and preparation, you may be able to avoid an asthma episode. Before physical activity, you should:
- Allow yourself time to warm up: Before starting any physical activity or exercise, warm up for six to 10 minutes. Warmup routines vary depending on your age, health and sport or activity. Talk to your provider about the right one for you.
- Check pollen and air quality: Before going outside to exercise, check the air quality index. If pollution and pollen levels are high, you may want to stay indoors.
- Cover your mouth and nose: Use a mask, scarf or gaiter to protect your airways from cold, dry air.
- Manage asthma symptoms: If you have asthma, work with your provider to get symptoms under control before you start an exercise program. Follow your providers instructions when using inhalers and taking asthma medications.
- Tell coaches and teachers: If your child has asthma, make sure teachers and coaches are aware. Adults should know what symptoms to watch for, what to do if symptoms appear and how to help with medications.
- Watch for symptoms: Monitor yourself for symptoms of sports-induced asthma. Have a plan in place if you notice signs of an EIB episode. Remember that symptoms can appear minutes after you finish exercising.
How To Relax The Airways
Dr. Thiruchelvam says the primary goal is to ensure that you dont avoid exercise. Here are some practical things you can do if you have exercise-induced asthma:
Gaining and maintaining good control over exercise-induced asthma often requires teamwork. A primary care sports medicine physician can help you keep your asthma well-controlled, so that exercise is less likely to trigger symptoms.
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Pay Attention To Your Symptoms
If your breathing feels unusual when exercising with asthma, you should stop. You may experience shortness of breath, chest tightness, wheezing, or coughing.
Get ahold of your breathing or use a rescue inhaler to assist you. Never push through these symptoms. Breathe deep and steady to calm down your mind and body as you regain a regular air flow. If you need meditation classes to help calm your breath, Aaptiv has those too.
Ultimately having asthma shouldnt prevent you from living a fit and healthy lifestyle if you want to.
And, in some cases, exercising with asthma can actually help symptoms. Always consult with your doctor before changing your exercise regimen or asthma action plan.
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Is It Safe To Exercise If I Have Asthma
One of the goals of asthma treatment is to help you maintain a normal and healthy lifestyle, which includes exercise and other physical activities. Taking your asthma medications as prescribed, avoiding triggers, and checking your symptoms and how well your lungs are working will help you achieve this goal.
If asthma symptoms prevent you from fully taking part in activities, talk to your asthma doctor. A small change in your asthma action plan may be all that is needed to provide asthma relief during exercise or other activity.
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