it is a true tragedy when a person is born with a disease that accompanies him throughout his life. Among the most challenging diseases are respiratory diseases, when it is hard for us to breathe the air smoothly. It is even more challenging to have this disease as a result of exercise like asthma, especially exercise-induced asthma. So what’s the case? Let’s read.
In this Article
What is Exercise-Induced Asthma
We say that a person has exercise-induced asthma when the airways narrow or shrink after vigorous physical activity or in the wrong way, and it is characterized by symptoms of narrowing of the airways, wheezing, coughing, etc., that appear during or after the exercise.
The medical term for this condition is exercise-induced bronchoconstriction.
Some nonexpert or professional players often complain of feeling short of breath or what is known as asthma. Not only players but also ordinary people may suffer from chest problems similar to asthma. Just as ordinary people continue to work, athletes can continue their sporting activity after taking appropriate medications to treat exercise-induced asthma.
Diagnosis of Exercise-Induced Asthma
When you sit in front of a chest doctor, he will ask you a sample of the questions you see in academic exams, so be prepared for that. Then the doctor will do a physical examination and you may undergo tests on some medical devices to see the ability of your lungs to do their job, and to dismiss any other possible doubts.
After you visit a general doctor to examine you, he may advise you to go to a doctor who specializes in chest diseases, and from him to an allergy or immunologist or pulmonologist.
Be prepared to answer the following questions:
- What symptoms prompted you to see a doctor?
- Did your symptoms start immediately when you started exercising, sometime during exercise, or after it?
- How long do symptoms last?
- Are you always short of breath or only when you exercise?
- What sport or usual physical activity do you do?
- Have you made adjustments to your exercise routine recently?
- Do you experience symptoms every time you exercise, or only at certain times?
- Are you a former patient with allergies or asthma?
- What other diseases do you complain about?
- Do you take medications? What are the names of the medicines you take and the doses?
- What nutritional supplements or herbal medicines do you take?
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Symptoms of Exercise-Induced Asthma
It is usual for a patient with asthma or narrowing of the airways resulting from exercise or after completing it to suffer from those symptoms. He may suffer from its effects for an hour, or maybe for a longer period of time if you don’t get the right medicine for it. In order to identify it, we mention its symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest tightness or pain.
- Fatigue when exercising.
- Low athletic performance to a lesser degree of ambition.
- Discomfort from exercise, especially in children.
When to Visit the Doctor
You must visit a specialist doctor if you suspect that you have exercise-induced asthma. Because some of the symptoms may be similar to other diseases, So make sure to diagnose your health condition in a timely manner.
You can also get emergency medical treatment if:
A feeling of shortness of breath, gurgling, or wheezing that increases in escalation, which portends difficulty in breathing and inhaling air comfortably, and when the patient’s condition does not improve even after using the inhaler spray prescribed for him to treat asthma attacks.
Casuse of Exercise-Induced Asthma
Unfortunately, as of this writing, no study has been published that accurately establishes the cause of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction.
While the guesses fluctuate between the cause being attributed to exposure to cold air, another study attributed the cause to exposure to dry air. It is believed that cold air can contain less moisture, of course, compared to warm air. This makes the player, during cold weather, inhale cold, dry air. As a result, the bronchial tubes become dry and constricted, obstructing the entry of air. Swimmers can be exposed to chlorine or other fumes, so difficulty breathing comes from irritation of the lining of the bronchi, shortness of breath, wheezing, and possibly pain.
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Risk Factors of Exercise-Induced Asthma
90% of athletes with exercise-induced asthma suffer from shortness of breath. They are not alone, as it is possible to suffer from bronchoconstriction in people who do not have asthma.
If suffering from this disease is not only for athletes, but it is more prevalent among athletes.
In order to avoid the occurrence of these symptoms during exercise, you must, dear, avoid some mistakes that may occur during exercise.
Factors that may increase the risk or trigger the disease include:
Do not exercise in dry weather.
Cold air is drier, avoid it.
Air polluted areas near industrial areas and streets crowded with cars are unhealthy for your exercise.
Chlorine in Swimming Pools
Make sure to shower with mildly chlorinated water.
Steam in gyms
Diffused vapor from perfume, wall paint, new equipment, or carpeting in gyms.
Exercises that Require Holding the Breath
Exercises that require prolonged breath holding or deep breathing, like running, long-distance swimming, or a soccer game.
Neglecting the Treatment of Exercise-Induced Asthma
When you become a prestigious sports champion, this does not mean that you neglect to treat the health symptoms that may affect you. Because that may cause you these results:
Feeling of shortness of breath
You may reach suffocation and thus throw yourself to destruction and death, God forbid, take the right treatment at the right time.
Your activity level is low
And your ability to perform your life duties efficiently and effectively. In addition to the inability to perform sports exercises.
Proper breathing methods
My friend, in order to avoid some respiratory diseases such as asthma caused by exercise, let’s read together about proper breathing methods:
Breathing during exercise
It is obvious that we breathe during exercises in an automatic way. But some good techniques won’t lose you anything. On the contrary, it will gain you strength, health, and merit. Perhaps that was a motive for you to win, excel, and feel comfortable while doing your exercises.
The Importance of Breathing during Exercise
Healthy blood pressure and a controlled heartbeat lead to self-confidence and avoiding stress. All of this is an inevitable result of slow, deep breathing. When I get nervous, I prefer to go out to the balcony to breathe the fresh air deeply and quietly. We should also breathe before performing any strenuous exercise. It is a process similar to filling the chest with air before diving into the water. The process of breathing this deep and calmly will give the opportunity for your organs to work efficiently, as also happens during the digestion process.
Imagine when the lungs take their chance to raise the level of oxygen in the blood and get rid of all the carbon dioxide, this refreshes the muscles and makes them glow in a beautiful pink color.
So, breathe right. You will not feel tired during the exercise. It may occur to you to ask about the mechanism of proper breathing, from the nose or from the mouth. Here’s the answer in the next paragraph:
Correct breathing process
The player can breathe from the nose or the mouth, and as it is known for the quality of nasal breathing, athletes need to use the two techniques, and we recommend the use of breathing from the nose in moderate-intensity exercises. But if the exercise is high-paced, breathing can be done from the nose and mouth together in order to obtain a double amount of oxygen and for the muscles to get their proper need from it in the body.
The benefits of correct breathing
You will be interested in correct breathing when you know the various and great benefits that accrue to the athletic body, or in the ordinary life of a non-athlete:
- Helps you think and focus better, especially in exams and critical situations.
- Take a deep breath when you are stressed and upset. Then come back to solve the problem. You will find great solutions.
- Poor breath may cause some digestive disorders. So breathe through your nose while eating, nothing bad will happen to you.
- As mentioned above, you will get good blood pressure and a regular heart rate if you breathe deeply.
Errors Lead to Respiratory Diseases
And now some people make mistakes that predispose them to respiratory disease, so what are the disadvantages and risks that increase your risk of respiratory diseases?
1. Mouth breathing
An annoying thing is like snoring when we encounter a person breathing from his mouth. Advise him to practice breathing through the nose to avoid these damages.
Mouth breathing will make the air devoid of nitric oxide, which is produced by the nasal passages during breathing, and that boosts the immune system and blood flow.
Dentist Stephen Lane tells us that mouth breathing in adults can lead to sleep apnea, which can cause a person heart disease, high blood pressure, and Alzheimer’s disease since mouth breathing in normal humans is an exceptional procedure that we do in extreme cases in order to survive.
Some athletes hold their breath while running, what could happen:
2. Hold your breath while running
The luster of the coronation medal may make the athlete who runs races forget to pay attention to his health and breathe properly. This practice is very bad because it reduces the amount of oxygen that the body gets, which weakens their powers.
Coach and sports expert Joe Lo Casio says “Working to improve human breathing while running is very important, especially for athletes who strive to win races. It is also important even for ordinary people who want to exercise without feeling suffocated.”
Do you want to look skinny, be careful not to pull your abdomen in.
3. Pull the abdomen inward
Some girls and sometimes boys unconsciously reduce the size of the abdomen for their desire to appear slim and graceful. This is something to be aware of, according to health and sports experts.
This trick, which may become unconscious, prevents the body from breathing completely. Since pulling the abdomen inwards hinders the movement of the diaphragm and narrows the space allocated to the chest for inhaling air.
This method not only prevents the entry of air but also hinders the lungs from getting rid of carbon dioxide, which is harmful to the body.
Does your work require you to breathe while hunched over?
4. Breathe while bending forward all-day
“Having the body in the wrong position hinders good breathing,” fitness and health expert Elizabeth Cowar tells us.
So, keep your body in a comfortable and proper position, to control the volume of air entering the chest, and alternate inhalation and exhalation.
As well as wrong sitting may put pressure on the chest and diaphragm.
It is wrong not to breathe deeply enough!
5. Not breathing deeply enough
“A lot of people don’t realize they have a problem with not breathing deeply,” advises emergency medicine specialist Dr. Chirag Shah.
You must, my dear, breathe into the depths of your lungs by pushing the diaphragm down to give enough room to fill the lungs with air.
This method increases the amount of air in the chest, and blood flow to it, in order to purify the blood from carbon dioxide.
Do you open your mouth wide during exercise to breathe?
6. Mouth breathing while exercising
When you try to intensify the exercises to improve your performance, do not forget the correct breathing, which will give you the support to achieve excellence.
Breathing expert Tara Clancy confirmed, “When a person breathes through the mouth, he consumes a large amount of air, which affects the balance between oxygen and carbon in the blood, and puts us in front of many health problems such as nasal congestion, so it is advised to focus on continuing to breathe through the nose during physical activity, Avoid breathing through the mouth.
No need to repeat the number of breathing times exaggeratedly!
7. Breathing too much
This is surprising, but specialists advise you, dear, to avoid intensive breathing. It may be difficult to notice the intensity of exaggerated breathing. But this disadvantage causes us to breathe in a lot of oxygen and excrete a lot of carbon dioxide. It is not a good sign of physical health.
Doctors follow up on advice by practicing gentle breathing techniques through the nose for several minutes at various times of the day.
What do you think of abdominal breathing?
8. Abdominal breathing
This news is from yoga instructor Kim McIntye that the breathing of more than half of the students who attend her yoga classes is shallow at first and is accompanied by a tightening of the abdomen.
When we only breathe with the upper chest, we are short of breath which makes us feel anxious and nervous. In order to solve this problem, we must breathe through the abdomen. This is done by touching the abdomen with the hand and listening to the body while breathing.
And by observing the movement of the abdomen and rib cage, It is intuitive to know if you are breathing with your abdomen or not.
Examinations for Exercise-Induced Asthma
Current Lung Function Test
One of the procedures used by doctors is to conduct a spirometry examination, to discover the efficiency of the lungs and their function during the rest period. This scale measures how much air we breathe in and how much and how quickly we exhale.
And the doctor may repeat this test after he gives you the bronchodilator, and then he compares the results of the first and second measurements to check if the bronchodilator has improved airflow or not. This is the initial test to see if the patient has chronic asthma.
Exercise Challenge Tests
Here it is time for you to train on the treadmill and some other training equipment to increase your breathing rate.
This exercise must be fast enough to trigger the onset of symptoms. Your doctor may challenge you to perform an actual exercise, such as climbing stairs. Spirometry before and after the challenge may be a sign of exercise-induced asthma.
Methacholine Breath Test
Methacholine is a substance that narrows the airways in some people with exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. Where the doctor exposes you to it and then measures your breathing to check how well your lungs are working.
This test mimics the conditions that can cause exercise-induced narrowing of the airways.
Treatment of Exercise-Induced Asthma
One of the methods of treatment is that the doctor prescribes the medicine for you shortly before you do your exercise, and then he may prescribe it to take it permanently if needed.
- Pre-workout medications
When you take a drug before you exercise, you must know how long you should take the drug before you start exercising. Ask your doctor about it.
- Long term control medications
Temporary treatments may not help control exercise-induced asthma. You need medications for long-term control or to control symptoms, then you may have to take these medicines daily.
- Inhaled corticosteroids that help reduce inflammation within the airways. These medications are taken by inhalation. You may need to use this treatment for up to four weeks before you get the most benefit from it.
- Combination nebulizers containing a corticosteroid and an extended-release beta-agonist. They are medications that relax the airways. Although these sprays are prescribed for long-term symptom control, your doctor may ask you to use it before you exercise.
- Leukotriene modifiers that prevent inflammatory activity.
These medicines are taken orally. It can be used daily or before exercising if taken two hours before exercise.
Possible side effects of leukotriene modifiers include changes in behavior and mood, and suicidal thoughts. So talk to your doctor if you have these symptoms. And don’t just rely on quick-relief medications. You can also use pre-workout medications as a quick relief from symptoms, but the spray should not be used before exercise for longer than recommended by your doctor.
Keep a record of the following:
- The number of sprays you take each week.
- The number of times you used the spray before exercising for prevention.
- How often you have used it as a symptomatic treatment.
If you use the inhaler daily or more frequently to relieve symptoms. The doctor may adjust the long-term treatment used to control the condition.
Preventive Treatments for Exercise-Induced Asthma
Exercising is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. This includes most people with exercise-induced asthma, as well as taking medications. You can take the following steps to prevent or reduce symptoms:
- Get in the habit of warming up for at least 15 minutes before you begin your basic exercise.
- Healthy breathing is through the nose because the air becomes moist and warm through it.
- If the weather is cool or dry, it’s okay to wear a face scarf during workouts.
- Do not exercise when you are sensitive to the surrounding atmosphere. Like at the time of pollen in the spring.
- Beware of pollution and polluted air. Streets crowded with cars.
What do I do if my child develops exercise-induced asthma?
If your child has exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, consult your doctor about an appropriate action plan. Whether you are a teacher, nurse, or trainer, he or she will provide you with these detailed instructions regarding:
- Appropriate treatment
- The time at which treatments should be given.
- First aid if symptoms appear on your child.
Exercise-induced asthma is distressing for every athlete. But we can remedy the matter, whether by prevention, by following healthy methods, and by avoiding the causes. And take the necessary treatments for each case, be it for young or old athletes.
Frequently Asked Questions about Exercise-Induced Asthma
When should you stop exercising?
You should stop exercising if you have a fever, fatigue, or widespread muscle aches.
What is the right atmosphere for asthma?
Fresh air is beneficial for patients with asthma and pulmonary embolism.
When are sports dangerous?
Excessive exercise puts pressure on the heart muscles. Especially when you do cardio for a long time, this can stress your heart and put you at risk of having a heart attack
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