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How To Use An Inhaler For Exercise Induced Asthma

Sports For People With Exercise

About the Treatment for Exercise-Induced Asthma

There’s no reason to stop playing sports or working out because you have EIA. As well as keeping you fit, exercise can strengthen the breathing muscles in the chest and help your lungs work better. Doctors no longer tell people with asthma to avoid exercising and, in fact, often recommend it as part of asthma treatment.

Some sports and activities are less likely to cause problems, though. These include:

  • an easy walk, jog, or hike
  • golf
  • shorter track and field events

Some sports are more challenging for people with exercise-induced asthma, such as:

  • long-distance running, cycling, or other endurance sports
  • soccer, basketball, and other sports that demand a lot of energy
  • cold-weather sports like cross-country skiing or ice hockey

You probably still can do even the most challenging sports if you truly enjoy them. It just takes careful management, the right medicine, and proper training.

You Blew That Big Competition

Off your game and dont know why? EIB could be making you winded and affecting your athletic performance. The good news is, you can still play your favorite sports. Even Olympic athletes can compete with exercise-induced asthma. It doesnt have to ruin your life and your exercise, Dr. Ogden says, but until you get treatment, it can absolutely limit what you do and change your game. Read how this woman keeps exercising despite her exercise-induced asthma.

What Is The Prognosis Of Exercise

Most people with exercise-induced asthma are able to control their condition if they work together with a health-care professional and follow their treatment regimen carefully.

People who do not seek medical care or do not follow an appropriate treatment plan are likely to experience worsening of their asthma and deterioration in their ability to function normally.

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Type Of Exercise How Long It Lasts How Hard You’re Working

You may find some kinds exercise are harder on your breathing than others. If your asthma is well controlled, you should be able to do every kind of exercise and sport. The one exception is Scuba diving, which is not recommended for people with asthma because it can be dangerous for them.If you find a certain exercise harder to do, you can:Make sure you to a proper warm-up and cool-down.Take it at a slower pace- if other run eight laps during a practice, you can try running five laps.

How Do Healthcare Providers Diagnose Asthma

Albuterol, Inhalation

Your healthcare provider will review your medical history, including information about your parents and siblings. Your provider will also ask you about your symptoms. Your provider will need to know any history of allergies, eczema and other lung diseases.

Your healthcare provider may order a chest X-ray, blood test or skin test. Your provider may order spirometry. This test measures airflow through your lungs.

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Things To Know About Albuterol

In serious cases, taking albuterol could cause your airways to tighten suddenly. This is called a bronchospasm and can make breathing difficult. This side effect happens immediately after using the inhaler. It can occur the first time you use a new canister. If this happens to you,call your doctor, and use a different asthma treatment.1-3

People withheart problemsshould be cautious about taking albuterol. Albuterol can cause changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and other heart disease symptoms. These effects are rare with the recommended dose of albuterol. Albuterol may also worsen conditions like thyroid problems, seizures, diabetes, or low potassium levels.1-3

Overusing your albuterol inhaler can worsen your asthma. Studies show that taking albuterol regularly can lead to worselung functionandasthma control. Albuterol is meant to provide occasional quick relief of symptoms, not long-term control. Using albuterol more than 2 days per week is a sign of poor asthma control. If you find yourself using albuterol often, consider discussing your asthma control options with your doctor.6

Before starting albuterol, tell your doctor about any prescription medicines, vitamins, supplements, or over-the-counter drugs you are taking. Certain medicines affect the way albuterol works, including other asthma drugs, other inhaled medicines,beta-blockers, diuretics, digoxin, monoamine oxidase inhibitors , and tricyclic antidepressants .1-3

What Are The Best Exercises For Someone With Asthma

For people with exercise-induced asthma, some activities are better than others. Activities that involve short, intermittent periods of exertion, such as volleyball, gymnastics, baseball, walking, and wrestling, are generally well tolerated by people with exercise-induced asthma.

Activities that involve long periods of exertion, like soccer, distance running, basketball, and field hockey, may be less well tolerated, as are cold weather sports like ice hockey, cross-country skiing, and ice skating. However, many people with asthma are able to fully participate in these activities.

Swimming, which is a strong endurance sport, is generally better tolerated by those with asthma because it is usually performed in a warm, moist air environment.

Maintaining an active lifestyle, even exercising with asthma, is important for both physical and mental health. You should be able to actively participate in sports and activities.

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Bacterial And Viral Infections

Infections such as the flu, acute bronchitis, and pneumonia can cause your airways to make extra mucus, which youll often cough up. It may be green or yellow in color.

The new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 doesnt usually cause mucus in the chest. But complications from the virus can include pneumonia, which does involve chest congestion.

When Should Someone Seek Medical Care For Exercise

How Do Doctors Treat Exercise-Induced Asthma?

If you think you or your child may have exercise-induced asthma, promptly make an appointment with your health-care professional.

If you or your child has exercise-induced asthma, you should have an action plan worked out in advance with your health-care professional. This plan should include instructions on how to prevent an attack while exercising, what to do when an asthma attack occurs, when to call the health-care professional, and when to go to a hospital emergency department.

The following is an example of an action plan in case of an exercise-induced attack:

  • Take two puffs of an inhaled beta2-agonist with one minute between puffs. If there is no relief, take an additional puff every five minutes. If there is no response after eight puffs, which is 40 minutes, your health-care professional should be called.
  • Your health-care professional should also be called if you have an asthma attack when you are already taking oral or inhaled steroids or if your inhaler treatments are not lasting four hours.
  • Keep in mind that these are general guidelines only. If your health-care professional recommends another plan for you, follow that plan.

Although asthma is a reversible disease, and treatments are available, people can die from a severe asthma attack.

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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.

How Is It Diagnosed

Often, doctors can make a preliminary diagnosis of exercise-induced asthma based on what you tell them.

To confirm the diagnosis, you might be asked to run on a treadmill or exercise in the doctors office. Or you might be asked to breathe a medication designed to irritate the inflammatory cells in your lungs to simulate asthma.;

Either way, your lung function will be measured before and after the test. This is usually done by having you breathe into a plastic tube. Your lung function might also be measured before and after using albuterol, which is a prescription medication that opens up the airways.

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How Can I Manage And Treat My Eib

With proper management, you can enjoy exercise and achieve your full potential. Proper management requires that you:

  • Take steps to prevent symptoms
  • Take medicine before exercising
  • Do a proper warm up for 6 to 10 minutes before periods of exercise or vigorous activity
  • Carefully watch your respiratory status before, during and after exercise

Children With EIB Inform teachers and coaches if you have a child with EIB. Kids with EIB should be able to take part in activities; they just may need medication before an activity.

Athletes With EIB If you are an athlete, disclose your medicines and adhere to standards set by the U.S. Olympic Committee. Request a list of approved and prohibited medications from the Committee hotline at 1-800-233-0393.

What Are Symptoms Of Exercise

Asthma Medications

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.

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When To See A Doctor

See your doctor if you have signs or symptoms of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. A number of conditions can cause similar symptoms, making it important to get a prompt and accurate diagnosis.

Get emergency medical treatment if you have:

  • Shortness of breath or wheezing that is quickly increasing, making it a struggle to breathe
  • No improvement even after using a prescription inhaler for asthma attacks

Do I Have To Stop Exercising If I Have Exercise

While it may seem like having exercise-induced asthma means you cant be an athlete, this isnt true at all. In fact, as many as 30% to 70% of elite and Olympic athletes have this diagnosis.

Talk to your doctor about exercising or playing sports if you have exercise-induced asthma. Staying active and competing in sports are important parts of life. Its worth making sure you can do them safely.

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Benefits Of Exercising With Asthma

Even if you have asthma, you shouldnt avoid exercise altogether.

Regular physical activity is essential for managing health, improving energy, and reducing the risk of chronic disease. If you already have a chronic condition, regular exercise can help you manage it.

This includes asthma. With a doctors guidance, regular exercise could help asthma by:

  • promoting blood flow to your lungs and heart
  • improving endurance and stamina

Myth : My Asthma Stops Me In My Tracks

Exercise-Induced Asthma

The widely used term exercise-induced asthma represents a misnomer: except in a very specific circumstance, exercise does not cause asthma but rather triggers asthmatic symptoms. Even so, many patients complain that asthma stops them in the midst of exercise and limits exercise ability. However, classic exercise-triggered asthma usually occurs after vigorous exertion. Appearing immediately after cessation of as little as 6 to 8 minutes of intense exercise activity, symptoms may require 30 to 60 minutes to resolve. McFadden and Gilbert documented this phenomenon by measuring lung function during and after exercise . Interestingly, lung function may actually improve during the first 10 minutes of exercise . Symptoms are followed by a refractory period of 1 to 2 hours in about half the patients, during which asthma symptoms cannot be induced again.

The classic finding of exercise-induced asthma: lung function as measured by FEV1 improves during exercise but then plummets and requires 30 to 60 minutes to return to normal. Reproduced with permission from McFadden ER Jr, Gilbert IA. Exercise-induced asthma. N Engl J Med 1994;330:13621367. Copyright © 1994, Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.

Forced expiratory volume in 1 minute declines much more in dry air than in humid air 5 and 10 minutes after exercise. Reproduced with permission from reference .

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Itchy Face And Throat

Some people with asthma may also experience an itchy face and throat in addition to the more traditional symptoms of wheezing and coughing.

These itchy sensations arent related to asthma itself but may be instead attributed to allergies. If allergens trigger your asthma symptoms, then you may have a subtype called allergic asthma.

When you have allergic asthma, you may experience more traditional asthma symptoms. along with:

  • itchy skin

What Types Of Sports Are Best For People With Eib

Activities most likely to trigger EIB:

  • Sports or activities in cold/dry weather
  • Sports or activities that need constant activity

Activities least likely to trigger EIB:

  • Sports or activities that use short bursts of exercise
  • Walking or leisure biking
  • Swimming in a warm, humid environment

It is important to consult with your health care provider before beginning any exercise program. Pace yourself. With effective management, people with EIB can perform and excel in a variety of sports. Many Olympic athletes and professional athletes with EIB excel in their sports.

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How To Know If You Have Exercise

If youve already been diagnosed with asthma, you might not need further testing to confirm your symptoms are EIB. If you dont have asthma? Youll likely perform an exercise challenge: A doctor measures how much air you can inhale and exhale, and how quickly you can do it before and after working out on a treadmill or stationary bike.

If youre experiencing airway narrowing, the volume of air that you can forcibly exhale will drop and you can see that easily on a test, says Taliercio.

How To Use An Mdi Inhaler Without A Spacer

5 Tips for Exercise

Take off the mouthpiece cover, then:

  • Shake it for 5 seconds.
  • Hold the inhaler up with your index finger on top and your thumb underneath to support it. Use the other hand to hold the spacer if you need to.
  • Breathe out.
  • Put the mouthpiece between your teeth, and close your lips tightly around it.
  • You can also hold the mouthpiece about the width of two fingers away from your mouth.
  • Press the top down, and breathe in until your lungs fill completely — about 4-6 seconds.
  • Hold the medicine in your lungs as long as you can , then breathe out.
  • If you donât get enough air in the first breath, wait 15-30 seconds and try again. Shake the canister again before the next puff.
  • Recap the mouthpiece.
  • If your medicine has a steroid in it, rinse your mouth and gargle with water after you use the inhaler. Spit out the water.

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History And Physical Examination

Your physical examination will include checking your vital signs, such as your temperature, pulse, and breathing rate. A fever can be an indication of an infection. Rapid breathing or a rapid heart rate can be a sign of a severe infection or an impending asthma attack.

Your doctor will listen to your breathing sounds with a stethoscope, which will help determine whether your congestion is on one side of the lungs or both.

  • Generally, with asthma and allergies, congestion affects both lungs.
  • Congestion can be limited to one lung or one section of a lung when there is another cause, such as an infection.

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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.

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