The Cleveland Clinic

Exercise-Induced Asthma

What Is Exercise-Induced Asthma?

Like it sounds, exercise-induced asthma is asthma that is triggered by vigorous or prolonged exercise or physical exertion. Most people with chronic asthma experience symptoms of asthma during exercise. However, there are many people without chronic asthma who develop symptoms only during exercise.

Why Does Exercise Induce Asthma?

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During normal breathing, the air we take in is first warmed and moistened by the nasal passages. Because people tend to breathe through their mouths when they exercise, they are inhaling colder and drier air.

In exercise-induced asthma, the muscle bands around the airways are sensitive to these changes in temperature and humidity and react by contracting, which narrows the airway. This results in symptoms of exercised-induced asthma, which include:

The symptoms of exercise-induced asthma generally begin within 5-20 minutes after the start of exercise, or 5-10 minutes after brief exercise has stopped. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms with exercise, inform your doctor.

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Exercise-Induced Asthma - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with exercise-induced asthma.
Exercise-Induced Asthma - Prevention Question: If you're prone to exercise-induced asthma, how do you prevent an attack?
Exercise-Induced Asthma - Best Activities Question: If you have asthma, what activities or types of exercise work best for you?
Exercise-Induced Asthma - Tips and Treatment Question: Please provide some tips for preventing and treating your exercise-induced asthma.