New Delhi: Exercise induced asthma is a condition of respiratory difficulty (bronchoconstriction) that lasts several minutes. It is triggered by aerobic exercise. Its causes include medical conditions, environmental factors, and medications.
Symptoms of exercise-induced asthma during or following exercise include chest tightness or pain, cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, underperformance or poor performance on the field, fatigue and prolonged recovery time. Dr Rajesh Gupta, Additional Director, Pulmonology, Fortis Hospital, NOIDA shares some steps to manage this problem.
Eight steps to manage Exercise Induced Asthma:
Sports selection can be helpful in guiding an athlete toward the performance of sports in environments that are less likely to cause bronchospasm. A sport with less prolonged aerobic demands (e.g. sprinting, weight lifting, baseball, football) is better tolerated by affected athletes.
Choose a time or place to exercise, preferably when the air is warmer and the humidity is higher. An indoor gym, changing from running to swimming automatically increases the humidity of the environment.
Altering breathing techniques from predominant mouth breathing to nasal breathing can result in less bronchospasm during the performance of an activity because the inhaled air is both warmed and humidified. If you are mouth breathing; breath through a scarf, handkerchief or mask.
Initiate a 15-30 minute warm-up, followed by a 15-minute rest period.
Administer preventive medication (short-acting ß2 -agonist, long-acting ß2 -agonists, mast cell stabilizers and Antileukotriene drugs) 15-30 minutes before the commencement of the exercise or competition.
Educate the patient and coaching staff to recognise the symptoms early.
The first step of treatment of an acute attack of Exercise Induced Asthma includes immediately removing the patient from competition or play. The patient needs to be providedimmediate administration of rapid onset, short-acting ß2 -agonist via a metered-dose inhaler (MDI) using a Spacer device. If the patient’s response is not satisfactory, transportation to an emergency facility is initiated, because the EIA attack may escalate.
Encourage to continue the exercise with the reassurance that proper treatment can allow an unhampered performance in case of most individuals.