By Jackson Sperry
It has long been thought that exercise induced asthma and
allergy induced asthma were two different varieties altogether.
Recent research has shed new light on this, however.
Exercise induced asthma is a shortness of breath, coughing and
wheezing brought on by physical exertion. This is caused by
inflammation of the lungs and the bronchial tissue which in turn
can be caused by an allergic reaction to something. The
inflammation can then trigger muscle spasms in the muscles
surrounding the bronchial tube, making it even harder to catch
Even people who show no sign of asthma normally can trigger it
through exercise. This could be due to changes in breathing
patterns during exercise or it could be because people who
suffer from exercise induced asthma are frequently more
sensitive to atmospheric changes.
The rapid breathing that comes with exercise, which is often
shallower as well, can lead to more allergens being inhaled as
well as less time for the air to warm up when it is breathed in.
When resting, we generally breathe through our nose which will
warm up the air before it gets to the lungs.
Because most people breathe through their mouths while
exercising, the air doesn't have the same chance to warm up and
the cool, drier air can be more of an irritation.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to minimize the
chance of an asthma attack due to exercise.
Firstly, if you use a bronchodilator inhaler, use it about 15
minutes prior to exercise. This will help to relax the muscles
surrounding your bronchial tubes, lessening the chance of them
being irritated by changes in your breathing pattern.
Spend extra time warming up before exercising. By preparing
your body for the changes in breathing you can often avoid an
asthma attack entirely. In a similar vein, take the time to cool
down once your exercise session is complete.
Don't exercise outside during colder weather or if you must,
wear a scarf or mask over your nose and mouth. This will help to
trap the warm air near your mouth and nose which will in turn
help to warm the colder outside air as you inhale it.
Also avoid outdoor exercise during pollen season or when the
air quality is poor. When these are combined with the changes in
breathing patterns during exercise, it's very likely to trigger
an asthma attack.
About the Author: Jackson Sperry gives you the lowdown on
asthma supplies and other related topics on the Asthma Explained
website. For more helpful information, visit