Understanding Exercise-Induced Asthma

Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), commonly referred to as exercise-induced asthma, is a type of asthma that is triggered by exercise. A diagnosis of EIB can be disheartening for individuals who like to stay fit. However, it’s still possible (and encouraged!) to exercise despite this condition. You can work with an asthma doctor to learn how to manage your respiratory problem safely while still enjoying your favorite workouts.


Causes and Risk Factors of EIB

When you exercise, the airways lose both water and heat, which can trigger the symptoms of EIB. This loss of water and heat is particularly apparent when you’re breathing in very dry air. It’s why people with EIB who ice skate or play ice hockey are particularly susceptible to symptoms. Other workout conditions can also increase the risk of triggering EIB, such as the very hot air that is characteristic of hot yoga studios, the chlorine in swimming pools, or the outdoor air pollution when running or cycling—especially in urban areas. Even a gym could contain environmental triggers of EIB, such as the fumes from the cleaners, paint, or new equipment.


Signs and Symptoms of EIB

People with exercise-induced asthma tend to experience symptoms within a few minutes of beginning to exercise. The symptoms can continue throughout the whole workout and linger for about 10 to 15 minutes afterward. Some of the most common signs of EIB can include the following:


  • Tightness in the chest
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Persistent coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Decreased exercise tolerance or endurance


Some people also develop an upset stomach. Note that while it’s expected for an individual to get out of breath while working out, in people with EIB, these symptoms are unreasonably severe and out of proportion to their fitness level.


Exercise-induced asthma is one of the many conditions treated at Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM. These asthma doctors are available in Blue Bell, Lansdale, Philadelphia, Jenkintown, Pottstown, Doylestown, King of Prussia, or Collegeville, Pennsylvania to provide the personalized treatment plan you need with the friendly, personable care you deserve. Schedule an appointment online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or call 1-800-86COUGH.

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