What is exercise induced bronchospasm?
Exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) happens if the airways in your lungs shrink while you are exercising. Then it can be hard for you to exercise for more than 30 minutes. You may have wheezing, difficulty breathing, or chest pain. The symptoms start after 15 to 30 minutes of nonstop exercise.
What are the symptoms of EIB?
EIB symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness
- Fatigue during exercise
It’s possible to have symptoms both during and after exercise. Feeling a little short of breath or fatigued when you work out is normal, especially if you aren’t in great shape. But with exercise-induced asthma, these symptoms can be more severe.
How we diagnose EIB?
Your physician can diagnose EIB by:
- Getting your health history
- Doing a breathing test at rest
- Doing a follow-up exercise challenge test
What are the triggers opf EIB?
Factors that can trigger exercise-induced asthma include:
- Cold air
- Dry air
- Air pollution such as smoke or smog
- High pollen counts
- Having a respiratory infection such as a cold
- Chemicals such as chlorine, or paint
How er treat EIB?
There are several kinds of medicine that can be given before exercise to prevent asthma symptoms. Both bronchodilator and anti-inflammatory medicines can be used.
There are two types of bronchodilators, short-acting or long-acting. Both types are used to prevent asthma symptoms.
Short-acting bronchodilators include albuterol and Salbutamol . You should take your short-acting bronchodilator 15-30 minutes before starting to exercise. It will not last longer than 2-4 hours. Even if you take your short-acting bronchodilator before you exercise, you can use it again as a “reliever medicine” if you have symptoms during or after exercise.
Long-acting bronchodilators include salmeterol and formoterol. If you use a long-acting bronchodilator, take it at least one hour before exercise. It will last up to 12 hours. A long-acting bronchodilator should not be used for quick-relief of symptoms. A long-acting bronchodilator may be used together with an anti-inflammatory medicine.
(2) Anti-inflammatory medicines:
These include both corticosteroid (such as beclomethasone, budesonide, fluticasone, triamcinalone) and non-steroid medicines (such as montelukast). Anti-inflammatory medicines are usually taken on a regular schedule to control your asthma. They are called “controller medicines”. You may not notice
any immediate improvement when you use these medicines. They can take time to work.
When should I talked to my doctor?
Tell your doctor what physical activities you would like to participate in, and the symptoms you experience during exercise. Together, you can create an asthma management plan that keeps you in the game and not on the sidelines.
What can I do to help myself if have EIB?
- It helps to warm up for 15 minutes before you start exercising.
- Try to cover your mouth and nose with a scarf or a face mask if you exercise outside in cold weather.
- Always breathe through your nose while you work out because that helps warm the air that goes into your lungs.
- During allergy seasons, the local news broadcasts usually tell you what allergens are in the air.
- Always follow your doctor’s instructions and take your medicine every time you exercise.
- Depending on the severity of your asthma, you may need to make modifications to your exercise routine.
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