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Exercise-induced Asthma, Ambulatory Care


Exercise-induced asthma

is a temporary inflammation and narrowing of your airways. Exercise-induced asthma (EIA) occurs during or 5 to 10 minutes after strenuous exercise. Irritants such as pollution, allergens, or cold, dry air may trigger an EIA attack. Your risk of EIA is increased if you have asthma.

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Coughing after exercise
  • Wheezing after exercise
  • Chest pain during or after exercise
  • Feeling out of shape when you exercise, even though you are in good physical condition

Seek immediate care for the following symptoms:

  • Severe shortness of breath
  • Lips or nails are blue or gray
  • The skin around your neck and ribs pulls in when you breathe

Treatment for exercise-induced asthma

includes medicines to help decrease inflammation, open airways, and make it easier to breathe. Short-acting medicine is taken right before strenuous exercise, or when you have symptoms. Long-acting medicine is taken daily to help prevent an exercise-induced attack. You may also need medicine to control allergies that trigger your symptoms.

Manage and prevent exercise-induced asthma:

  • Avoid known triggers such as dust or pollen.
  • Choose exercise that requires only short bursts of intense breathing such as baseball, wrestling, or sprinting. Avoid exercise that requires intense breathing for long periods.
  • Warm up before you exercise.
  • Wear a mask over your mouth when you exercise in cold weather. This will help warm the air you breathe.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.