Exercise-induced asthma, also known as sports-induced asthma, is a condition in which the airways narrow or constrict during intense physical activity. This can result in various symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and others, both during and after exercise. This condition is also known as exercise-induced bronchoconstriction.
Exercise-induced asthma can affect both individuals with and without asthma. When this condition is triggered by exercise, it can make breathing difficult.
People with exercise-induced bronchoconstriction can still participate in physical activity and remain active as long as they manage their symptoms. To prevent an episode of exercise-induced asthma, they can warm up before exercising and use inhalers or other medications to open up their airways.
Symptoms of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction typically appear during or shortly after exercise. If left untreated, these symptoms may last for an hour or longer. These signs include:
If you experience exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, it is important to consult your doctor for a diagnosis as soon as possible. This is because some illnesses can produce similar symptoms.
You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following:
When exercising, the increased breathing through the mouth can cause the airways to narrow and become constricted, leading to breathing difficulties. This may be exacerbated by cold and dry air, which lacks moisture and can cause dehydration of the air passages. Other irritants such as chemicals, allergens, and air pollution may also contribute to exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. The exact cause of this condition is not fully understood, but increased breathing during exercise may exacerbate symptoms by irritating the airways.
The likelihood of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction is higher in:
The following are some triggers or risk factors for the condition:
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