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 isn’t 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.
What Types Of Medicines Treat Or Prevent Eib
There are three types of medicines to prevent or treat the symptoms of EIB. Your health care provider can help you find the best treatment program for you based on your asthma history and the type of activity.
- Short-acting beta agonist / bronchodilator : This medication can prevent symptoms when taken 10 to 15 minutes before exercise. It will help prevent symptoms for up to four hours. This same medication can also treat and reverse the symptoms of EIB should they occur.
- Long-acting bronchodilator: This needs to be taken 30 to 60 minutes before activity and only once within a 12-hour period. Salmeterol can help prevent EIB symptoms for 10 to 12 hours. This medication is for preventing symptoms. It does not offer any quick relief, so it not for treating symptoms once they begin.
- Mast cell stabilizers: Cromolyn sodium or nedocromil sodium need to be taken 15 to 20 minutes before exercise. These medications may also help to prevent the late phase reaction of EIB that some people experience. These medications are only for preventing EIB because they do not relieve symptoms once they begin. Some individuals use one of these medicines in combination with a short-acting bronchodilator.
If you have frequent symptoms with usual activity or exercise, talk to your doctor. An increase in your long-term control medications may help. Long-term control medicines, such as inhaled steroids, can help EIB.
Key Points About Exercise
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What Are Symptoms Of Exercise
If you have EIB, youll likely experience one or a combination of four symptoms: shortness of breath, a dry, non-productive cough, chest tightness, or wheezing .
Some of these symptomssay, trouble catching your breathcan be easy to confuse with the effects of just pushing yourself too hard, or being a little out of shape. So how can you tell if its EIB?
Typically, symptoms of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction are pretty precisely-timed. They tend to begin during the first six to eight minutes of exercise, and peak five to 10 minutes post-workout, says Wang. Thats because, initially, exercise expands the airways. But as you continue to move with EIB, or when you stop, your airways can constrict more than usual.
If you have EIB, symptoms usually subside within 30 to 60 minutes, he adds. Thats different than a short-term exertion, like if youre pushing yourself really hard in a sprint. In that case, youll regain your breath much faster than this, Wang notes.
If youve done your run and shortly following your run, your chest is tight, maybe youre coughing a little bit, that should go away, notes Taliercio.
If those symptoms persist after that time frame, or get worseespecially if you have a history or asthma and have used a quick-acting inhalerthey may be signs of an asthma attack. In that case, you should seek immediate medical attention, as it can be life-threatening if not treated, notes Wang.
How Long Can Exercise Induced Asthma Last
Exercise–induced asthma, also known as exercise–induced bronchoconstriction , is caused by prolonged exercise. As many as 90 percent of people with asthma experience EIB. This type of asthma usually hits five to 10 minutes after exercise ends the symptoms often go away on their own after 30 to 45 minutes of rest.
Similarly, is exercise induced asthma bad? When exercise causes bronchoconstriction, it can lead to wheezing, coughing, and chest pain, which may be mild to severe. Up to 90 percent of people who have asthma experience EIB during exercise. According to the AAFA, EIB might be one of the most common causes of asthma symptoms in teenagers and young adults.
Also Know, what does exercise induced asthma feel like?
Symptoms of exercise-induced asthma include wheezing, tightness or pain in the chest, coughing, and in some cases, lasting shortness of breath. Someone with EIA may: get winded or tired easily during or after exercise.
Can you die from EIB?
The symptoms are often mild to moder- ate in severity and may cause impairment of athletic performance, but are not severe enough to cause significant respiratory distress. However, severe episodes of EIB can occur, and respiratory fail- ure and even death have occurred in rare cases .
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Asthma Isnt An Excuse Not To Work Out
- Warm up and cool down before exercising. This will help you lungs get acclimated to the air.
- Avoid working out during cold weather. If you do, cover your mouth and nose.
- Avoid working out when you have a cold or viral infection.
- Always use your inhaler or prescribed medication before you work out.
You shouldnt use EIB as an excuse not to work out and get exercise. Its likely possible as long as you work with your doctor, find a regimen that works for you and take any medication as necessary, said EXPERT. Dr. Navitha Ramesh is a pulmonologist at Geisinger Wyoming Valley. To schedule an appointment, call 800-275-6401.
Geisinger Health Plan may refer collectively to Geisinger Health Plan, Geisinger Quality Options Inc., and Geisinger Indemnity Insurance Company, unless otherwise noted. Geisinger Gold Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and HMO D-SNP plans are offered by Geisinger Health Plan/Geisinger Indemnity Insurance Company, health plans with a Medicare contract. Continued enrollment in Geisinger Gold depends on annual contract renewal. Geisinger Health Plan Kids and Geisinger Health Plan Family are offered by Geisinger Health Plan in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services . Geisinger Health Plan is part of Geisinger, an integrated health care delivery and coverage organization.
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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Your Chest And Throat Feel Tight
Your chest may feel constricted like you cant take deep breaths or get enough air into your lungs. Your throat could also tighten. If this happens, stop exercising and catch your breath. Your whole body is working so much harder to get oxygen that it wouldnt be recommended to take a break and then start exercising again without your medication on board, Dr. Ogden says. Here are some other reasons you might have chest pain when running or exercising.
What Are The Symptoms Of Exercise
Symptoms can range from mild to severe. They can appear a few minutes after you start exercising or after you finish a workout. Symptoms usually start to improve after about 30 minutes of rest.
Sometimes, exercise-induced asthma can return up to 12 hours after youve finished exercising. They can appear even when youre at rest. These are called late-phase symptoms. It may take up to a day for late-phase symptoms to go away.
Symptoms of asthma triggered by exercising include:
- Coughing after running or exercising.
- Severe fatigue.
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Don’t Rely Only On Quick
You can also use pre-exercise drugs as a quick-relief treatment for symptoms. However, you shouldn’t need to use your pre-exercise inhaler more often than your doctor recommends.
Keep a record of how many puffs you use each week, how often you use your pre-exercise inhaler for prevention and how often you use it to treat symptoms. If you use it daily or you frequently use it for symptom relief, your doctor might adjust your long-term control medication.
What Medications Can Prevent Exercise
If your medication has been adapted to your specific situation and you can effectively control your asthma, you are far less likely to have sudden breathing difficulties when you do sports. Your doctor can help you find the type of medication that best suits your physical activities.
There are two main groups of medications, known as controllers and relievers. Controller medication is used as a long-term treatment to keep the asthma under control. The effect of this medication is felt slowly over time. Reliever medication has a quick and short-term effect. It can be used before doing strenuous physical activities, as well as to relieve acute asthma attacks. It’s important to talk to your doctor about how often you can safely use reliever medication per day.
The following medications can be used before strenuous activities to prevent exercise-induced :
It’s often not easy to know which medications will best prevent exercise-induced . You may have to try out different medications to find out which medication works best for you.
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Side Effects Of Exercise
Episodes of EIB can cause temporary inflammation and damage to lungs, but its reversible with proper treatment. The biggest complication associated with exercise-induced breathing difficulty is GIVING UP ON EXERCISE!
Some people with EIB feel anxiety, fear, and embarrassment about exercising. Rightfully so! Whats not scary about feeling like you cant breathe?
The truth is avoiding exercise is counterproductive. Its totally possible to have an active life while managing EIB. In fact, exercise improves quality of life.
Exercise Leaves You Exhausted Instead Of Energized
Feeling exhausted while you exercise should be a red flag for exercise-induced asthma. Dr. Ogden warns, People may not recognize that theyre short of breath and demanding more air from their bodies. They may call that fatigue. Fatigue can be completely independent of symptoms in your airways, but you rarely feel fatigued without also experiencing respiratory problems. These are great ways to beat fatigue naturally.
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Which Activities Are Less Likely To Cause Sports
Indoor sports and those with short bursts of activity are less likely to trigger an asthma episode. But any activity can cause symptoms. Be sure to talk to your provider before starting any exercise program.
To avoid symptoms, you may want participate in sports or exercises that are best for asthma including:
- Activities with short bursts of energy: Asthma symptoms appear less often during sports that involve quick, short sprints with periods of rest. These sports include volleyball and baseball.
- Less-rigorous activities: Golf, biking and walking are often good choices for people with asthma.
- Indoor sports: Some indoor activities are less likely to trigger sports-induced asthma symptoms.
- Warm or humid environment: Swimming, diving and water polo have a lower risk of triggering sports-induced asthma symptoms. Moist pool air makes an EIB episode less likely. But some people find chlorine in a pool to be irritating. A saltwater pool can be a better choice, if you have one available.
How Does Albuterol Work
During an asthma attack, the muscles that surround the airways can constrict. This causes difficulty breathing, wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, and chest tightness. Albuterol works by relaxing the muscles that surround the airways, which causes the airways to open up.4
When albuterol is used to treat exercise-induced asthma, it is taken before exercising to prevent the constriction of the airway muscles. Albuterol affects the whole airway, from the large trachea to the very small bronchioles. It generally works in 5 to 8 minutes. The effects last 3 to 6 hours.1-3
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How Common Is Exercise
Up to 90% of people with asthma, 50% of competitive athletes, and up to 26% of school children experience EIB.
EIB is one of the first symptoms to appear in people with asthma who are not being treated adequately. This means you may not be on the right medication or using it properly. Check with your doctor.
If you have been diagnosed with asthma and find your symptoms worsening especially if they appear shortly after you exercise, then this may be an early warning sign that your asthma may be getting worse or you may need your medications reviewed by your doctor.
If exercise is causing asthma symptoms, always speak to your doctor about this.
How Can I Deal With Exercise
When it comes to EIA, staying one step ahead of your symptoms is a good strategy. Ask your doctor what you should do before exercising or playing sports.
Here are some of the things doctors suggest for people who have EIA:
- Warm up carefully before any exercise to prevent chest tightening.
- If you do pretreatment, take your medicine as close to the start of exercise as possible.
- Breathe through your nose during exercise.
- Take brief rests during exercise and use quick-relief medicine as prescribed if symptoms start.
- Cool down after exercise.
- Avoid exercising outside during really cold weather. But if you have to, wear a scarf around your nose and mouth or a ski mask.
- If pollen or pollution trigger your asthma, exercise indoors on days when the air quality is bad or the pollen count is high.
- Don’t exercise when you have a cold or the flu.
- Don’t exercise if you’re having asthma symptoms.
Taking medicine exactly as your doctor prescribes is the most important tip of all. Skipping long-term control medicine, if it’s prescribed for you, can make symptoms worse. Forgetting to take medicine before exercise can lead to severe flare-ups and even ER visits.
Finally, always keep your inhaler with you when exercising. You may feel shy about your asthma, but don’t hide it from coaches or teammates they can help you. Coaches especially should know about your asthma so they will understand if you need to take a break and use your medicine.
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Test Of Normal Lung Function
Your doctor will likely administer a spirometry test to assess how well your lungs function when you aren’t exercising. A spirometer measures how much air you inhale, how much you exhale and how quickly you exhale.
Your doctor might have you repeat the test after you take an inhaled medication to open your lungs . Your doctor will compare the results of the two measurements to see whether the bronchodilator improved your airflow. This initial lung function test is important for ruling out underlying chronic asthma as the cause of symptoms.
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.
How Do I Know If I Have Exercise
You may experience cough, wheeze, a feeling of tightness or discomfort in the chest, breathlessness, and/or excessive mucus production. These symptoms often appear or get worse 5-10 minutes after exercise and so you may not see a drop in your performance whilst exercising.
About 50% of people will have what is called a refractory period following exercise. What this means is that once they have recovered from one episode of EIB then they may not experience another episode of EIB for 2-3 hours even if they exercise again.
It is important to remember that any episode of shortness of breath or chest pain or discomfort, especially associated with exercise, must always be investigated by a doctor as soon as possible as there are other causes of these symptoms some of which may be very serious.
Other Tips For Exercising With Asthma
In addition to choosing less strenuous activities, you can also follow these tips to reduce your asthma symptoms:
- Use an inhaler before exercise. Your doctor can prescribe a rescue inhaler as a pre-exercise treatment. These inhaled medications will relax the airways, making it easier to breathe during physical activity.
- Take medication for long-term control. If a pre-exercise inhaler doesnt manage your symptoms, you may be given another medication. This could include oral drugs or additional inhalers that decrease airway inflammation.
- Warm up and cool down. Always warm up before exercise to let your body adjust. When youre done, gradually stop the activity.
- Wear a mask or scarf. Cover your nose and mouth when its cold outside. The dryness of cool air can tighten your airways.
- Limit your exposure to pollen and pollution. If youre allergic to pollen, exercise inside when pollen levels are high. Stay in areas with minimal air pollution.
- Avoid sports with continuous activity. Basketball, soccer, and long-distance running can be hard on the lungs if your asthma is poorly controlled. Avoid sports that are done in the cold, like cross-country skiing and hockey.
Most importantly, take breaks as necessary.
You should also ask your doctor what you should do if you have an asthma attack while exercising. By having a plan in place, you can workout with confidence.
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