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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
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.
How can I help prevent EIB episodes?
- Avoid known triggers , such as dust or pollen.
- Choose exercise that requires only short bursts of intense breathing, if possible. Examples include volleyball, gymnastics, baseball, wrestling, or sprinting. Exercise that requires intense breathing for long periods is more likely to trigger EIB.
- Warm up before you exercise. Do moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, for 10 minutes before you do strenuous exercise.
- Wear a mask over your mouth when you exercise in cold weather. This will help warm the air you breathe.
When should I seek immediate care?
- You have severe shortness of breath.
- Your lips or nails are blue or gray.
- The skin around your neck and ribs pulls in when you breathe.
When should I contact my healthcare provider?
- You use short-acting medicine every day, or more frequently than usual.
- Your symptoms get worse.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
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