Exercise Induced Asthma


  • Exercise induced asthma is relatively common, in particular in children. Many people have symptoms for years before realising it is a problem, putting down their wheeze and breathlessness down to age or fitness.
  • It is triggered by a prolonged hyperventilation associated with cooling and a drying of the airways.
  • Exercise induced asthma is sometimes the first sign of asthma.
  • A dry cough or wheezing can occur during or just after exercise. It can sometime worsen, triggering a true asthma attack.
  • Exercise induced asthma can quickly and easily be diagnosed. The use of a peak flow diary is one way or asking the patient to exercise during a consultation is another.
  • A study was carried out amongst a hundred sportsmen. It revealed that 40% of them had exercise induced asthma for which most of them they were unaware of it.
  • Severe episodes of exercise induced asthma were reported in sportsmen younger than 21 years of age. Screening this age bracket of sportsmen is a necessary step forward.
  • Certain sports, like jogging, cycling, endurance are more prone to exercise induced asthma.
  • Cold and dry air are added aggravating factors of exercise induced asthma. Many children or adults have worse symptoms in cold and dry weather.
  • In certain people, the association of exercise, hyperventilation and cold air can cause an asthma attack.

Advice for asthmatics doing sports


  • Warm up for approximately fifteen minutes before exercising in order to open up the bronchi.
  • Start your exercise regime gradually and gently.
  • Always take 2 puffs of your blue reliever inhaler, (fast acting bronchodilator inhaler) 10 to 15 minutes before doing exercise. In the event of symptoms, a further 2 puffs will be necessary.
  • Ensure you are monitored by you GP or asthma nurse as additional medication may be beneficial and prevent exercise induced symptoms.
  • Wearing scarves, hats and balaclavas when the weather is cold decrease the inhalation of cold and dry air.


Never start doing exercise intensely without warming up first.

CCM is a leading international tech website. Our content is written in collaboration with IT experts, under the direction of Jeff Pillou, founder of CCM.net. CCM reaches more than 50 million unique visitors per month and is available in 11 languages.

Related