Exercise-induced asthma - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Exercise-induced Asthma

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If you feel out of breath, cough or wheeze during or after exercise, you may have exercise-induced asthma.

Britney Glaser reports on one athlete who is keeping her asthma in check on and off the court.

High school senior Alyssa Query doesn't have a free "season" between volleyball, basketball and softball.

"I've always loved sports, I've played them since I was little. I grew up with it, too, so I'm just a very competitive person!"

But an unwanted opponent came along with Alyssa's sports routine.

"I knew I couldn't breathe, but I kept running anyway and that's when all of a sudden, I was like, 'mom, I can't breathe,' and I started wheezing."

Alyssa was told she had exercise-induced asthma.

Doctor David Wallace says this occurs when the main air passages of the lungs become inflamed.

"Normally when you breathe, the nasal passage is kind of warm and moist in the air and when you exercise, especially in cool environments or changes in humidity, it can trigger asthma."

Alyssa didn't have to give up the game.  She was just told to keep a close eye on her breathing and to slow down when she's pushing herself too hard.

"When I can feel my chest closing in or something that makes me stop what I'm doing - because it can get worse or if I feel it, take my inhaler."

A spirometer can also be a good tool to monitor your air exchange. Typically, signs and symptoms of exercise-induced asthma start after 5 to 15 minutes of exercise.

"Short of breath and have decreased air exchange during exercise, which can cause some respiratory difficulties."

Doctor Wallace says pre-treating the condition with an inhaler about 15 minutes before physical activity, can keep you moving without the asthma slowing you down.

Another tip is to breathe in through your nose and out of your mouth as much as possible while exercising.

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