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Asthma and Exercise: What’s the connection?


Asthma and Exercise: What’s the connection?

Children and adults of all ages are diagnosed with asthma at different ages. If you suffer from this condition, you know the signal symptoms that send an alert signal to your body. These symptoms include wheezing, chest tightness, coughing, and shortness of breath. If you experience any of these symptoms and have not been treated, they can be quite frightening.

There are a few types that occur among children and young adults. Typically you hear of allergy and exercise-induced (EIA). These two types are the most prominent. Other types of asthma include variant coughing and night time asthma. These two forms are not as popular but are just as aggravating to the affected person. Regardless of what specific form a person has, there are several preventative medicines to help reduce the risk of attacks as well as inhalers (also known as bronchodilators). Inhalers are often referred to as rescue inhalers during an attack. Treatment depends specifically on the type and the personal differences from patient to patient.

The combination of asthma and exercise can call for coughing, wheezing, and a general out of breath feeling after any amount of exercise. Undiagnosed patients often assume this is just exertion from physical activity. EIA symptoms arise when your airways tighten more than usual and the result is an over production of mucus. A person who suffers from EIA shouldn’t assume they cannot exercise or take part in physical activity. In fact, one of the easiest ways to prevent an attack of this type is to use an inhaler before any physical activity. This will allow the person to participate in physical activity without having any symptoms or an attack.

Currently, there is no cure to permanently relieve the symptoms. Without an asthma cure, patients are given a couple different choices for treatment. Depending on the severity and type a person might have, they may choose to go untreated. This is not recommended, but it is a personal decision for people who are worried about possible medication side effects. As mentioned before, EIA can be treated with a rescue inhaler right before exercise. Rescue inhalers can control temporary symptoms by rapidly opening the airways in an effort to help breathing and slow mucus production back to normal. This type of relief will last for several hours. For chronic and allergy asthma, long term control medications may be necessary. These medicines are taken daily over a long period of time. Medications such as these include inhaler corticosteroids to reduce symptoms long term without the side effects that can occur with oral corticosteroids. Also, leukotriene modifiers are taken in the form of pills such as Singular to prevent symptoms and attacks for up to 24-hour periods at a time.

Asthma and Exercise – conclusions

Although there is not an asthma cure, preventative medications and rescue inhalers greatly reduce the risk and number of attacks a person may or may not have. Asthma symptoms can occur quickly and are capable of creating frightening situations if left undiagnosed. If you experience any of the mentioned symptoms, be sure to contact a health care provider. Once diagnosed, be sure to use an inhaler prior to physical activity. In addition, without an asthma cure, taking preventative medications will be the best way to live a normal life with asthma.

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