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Exercise Induced Asthma

Exercised-induced asthma is a narrowing of the airways in the lungs triggered by strenuous exercise.  Most people with exercise-induced asthma can continue to exercise and remain active by recognizing and treating their symptoms with common asthma medications and taking preventive measures.



Signs and symptoms of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction begin during or soon after exercise. The signs and symptoms may include:

  • Coughing

  • Wheezing

  • Shortness of breath

  • Chest tightness or pain

  • Fatigue during exercise

  • Poorer than expected athletic performance

  • Avoidance of activity (a sign primarily among young children)


Exercise-induced asthma is more likely to occur in people with asthma and elite athletes. 


Factors that may increase the risk of the condition or act as triggers include:

  • Cold air

  • Dry air

  • Air pollution

  • Chlorine in swimming pools

  • Chemicals used with ice rink resurfacing equipment

  • Activities with extended periods of deep breathing, such as long-distance running, swimming or soccer


If the condition is not recognized and treated appropriately it can lead to lack of beneficial exercise, poor performance in activities you would otherwise enjoy and even serious or life-threatening breathing difficulties.

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