Not many people know that asthma can be induced because of exercise. In fact, exercise is one of the most common triggers, and up to 90 percent of people who have asthma experience exercise induced asthma after a workout. However, anyone can also develop this condition through their lifetime. This condition occurs when the airways become constricted because of the body’s inflammatory response to physical activity. It is commonly referred to as EIB, or exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. Most often, the symptoms are similar to an asthma attack, and can be quite uncomfortable for the individual. The symptoms include wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest and a sore throat, and tend to begin when a person is 15 to 20 minutes into their workout. The symptoms can also flare up five to fifteen minutes after a workout ends. While everybody experiences being short of breath after a workout, the symptoms for exercise induced asthma are much more severe, and the breathlessness can last for a much longer time. If you have any of these following signs, you could be suffering from exercise induced asthma:
1. Exhaustion Instead Of Energized
Exercise is one of the best ways to feel energized through the day, so if you’re feeling fatigues and exhausted instead, you should consider this sign as a red flag. Though it is true that we may feel tired after a workout, fatigue is much deeper than just “tired”. Fatigue rarely comes without respiratory problems when we are exercising, so this may be an important sign to look out for.
Even if you are a healthy and fit person and work out often, you might end up feeling more sluggish than you should. This sluggishness comes because of the EIB, and has nothing to do with your actual fitness levels or how healthy you are. The right treatment can reduce this feeling, and it can get you to feel great about exercise again.
3. Dry And Cool Environment
EIB can occur more frequently if you live in dry and cool environments. When we exercise, we are more prone to breathing through our mouths, which makes the air we breathe in is much drier and cooler when compared to the rest of our body. This, combined with an area that already has a similar climate can make things worse. This air is one of the main triggers to make your airways narrower, so this puts you at a higher risk of having an asthma attack during a workout.
4. Long Recovery Time
Though all of us do take time to recover from a workout, those with EIB can have a really hard time recovering depending on the severity of the condition. You may continue to feel out of breath and a tightness in your chest even 30 minutes after your workout, and those with severe asthma can take up to an hour to feel like they are back to normal. A study conducted at the Baylor Asthma and Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center in Dallas found that people who don’t have EIB can recover from their workouts in 2 to 3 minutes, which is a huge difference when compared to those who have EIB.
Coughing and shortness of breath are one of the most common and signature symptoms of EIB. However, most people may not realize that their coughing is due to the asthma. These symptoms come about around 20 minutes after you start a workout, or even take up to 40 minutes to show up, and might also occur when the demand or pressure on the body increases. If someone has severe EIB, they may even end up gasping for air during a workout.
6. Tightness In The Chest
If you feel like your chest is constricted, such as how you would feel when you can’t take a deep breath or you are not able to get enough air into your lungs, this could be another tell-tale symptom of EIB. Your throat could also tighten during this time. If this is combined with all the other symptoms mentioned above, you could be suffering from EIB. It is recommended that if the tightness in the chest continues, you stop exercising and approach a doctor for the right medication to deal with EIB. With the right treatment, you can continue to work out without being interrupted by the asthma.