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Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

What is exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB)?

EIB is a temporary inflammation and narrowing of your airways. EIB may also be called exercise-induced asthma. EIB occurs during strenuous exercise, or develops 5 to 10 minutes after. Irritants such as pollution, allergens, or cold, dry air may trigger an EIB attack. Your risk of EIB is increased if you have asthma. You may still have EIB even if you do not have asthma.

What are the signs and symptoms of EIB?

You may wheeze, cough, have chest pain, tightness, or shortness of breath during or after you exercise. You may also feel out of shape when you exercise, even though you are in good physical condition.

How is EIB diagnosed?

Lung function tests will be done to measure the airflow in your lungs and show how deeply you can breathe. Your healthcare provider may test your lungs before and after you exercise. You may be given medicine to trigger an EIB attack. Your healthcare provider will test your lungs before and after you take the medicine.

How is EIB treated?

Medicines help decrease inflammation, open airways, and make it easier to breathe. You may use an inhaler to take these medicines. Your healthcare provider will tell you the kind of inhaler to use and show you how to use it. Short-acting medicine is taken 15 minutes before you 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.

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

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How can I help prevent EIB episodes?

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

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 healthcare providers 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.

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