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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Asthma

Question: Exercise induced asthma?

 mrmanac - Wed Mar 02, 2005 9:46 pm

Hi, I'm a 19yr old male who competes at a high level in athletics events over 1500m in distance. I originally suffered a chest infection during a holiday last July but trained through it after taking a couple of weeks rest to get over the worst of it, as i had a European Championship fixture in late September. Having completed the competition, I decided to take a break from training, during which time my cough became progressively worse. A course of ampicillin didn't seem to work at all and it was only after taking a course of a second antibiotic (cefaclor i think?) that I seemed to recover from the chest infection. I rested for a couple of weeks after taking this second course, to be sure the infection was out of my system and made an attempt to return to training. This was around November time of 2004 and up until a recent visit to my GP i was suffering discomfort and tightness at the base of my chest and through to my back during deep breathing and exercise, even when taking a bricanyl turbohaler (terbutaline sulphate, which i had been prescribed many years ago to treat a mild form of exercise induced asthma). The doctor diagnosed exercise induced asthma, for which he prescribed an airomir autohaler (salbutamol sulphate), after discovering that my peak flow reading was above average and that I had no signs of wheeziness. One week later and I'm back with a cough (not productive) and can't train again. Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on the cause of the restrictiveness in my chest and the coughing that has followed because as a student in Physiology I'm interested to know what the cause could be! In addition, the condition worsens at lower temperatures, the cold air apparently irritating the problem. Many thanks, mrmanac.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Sun Jun 25, 2006 12:38 pm

User avatar Bronchial Asthma, Exercise Induced Asthma and Bronchial Reactive Airways Disease are all synonymous.
Asthma is a condition that results from an inflammatory process in the respiratory airway a disease. The inflammation results in spasm of the muscles of the bronchial way with swollen cells in the airway lining, as a sequence narrowing of the respiratory tract and decreased airflow.
The history you have described is very common in asthmatic patients. In asthmatic patients, wheezing is the most common presenting symptom. It usually begins suddenly, worsens at night or in early morning, aggravated by exposure to certain allergens such as, as moist cold air. It is also exacerbated with exercise and chest infections as in your case. Wheezing usually resolves either spontaneously, or by the use of antibiotics to treat bronchitis s and any other type of chest infection.
Sometimes asthma patients present with cough with or without sputum (phlegm). Chronic shortness of breath mandate the us of accessory respiratory muscles which lead to the sensation of chest pain or chest tightness.
Being asthmatic itself is a predisposing factor for repeated chest infection which in turn aggravate the asthma. This means that prevention is very important in controlling exacerbations of asthma. This can be achieved by identifying the allergens and respiratory irritants and to avoid them. In addition, Common allergens like dust mites, cockroach allergens, molds, and pollens and Common respiratory irritants include: tobacco smoke, pollution, and fumes from burning wood or gas should be avoided.
People with mild asthma (infrequent attacks) may use relief medication as needed. Those with persistent asthma should take control medications on a regular basis to prevent symptoms from occurring.
Try to get an appointment with your doctor, to be examined carefully and checked for your respiratory functions.
Good luck,

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