If you're prone to exercise-induced asthma, how do you prevent an attack?
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Can My Exercise-Induced Asthma Be Prevented?
Yes. Asthma inhalers or bronchodilators used prior to exercise can control
and prevent exercise-induced asthma symptoms. The preferred asthma medications
are short-acting beta-2 agonists such as albuterol. Taken 15-20 minutes before
exercise, these medications can prevent the airways from contracting and
control exercise-induced asthma for as long as 4-6 hours.
Other asthma treatments that may be useful are the long-acting beta-2
agonists, such as Serevent and Foradil, which provide 12-hour control. When
these medications are taken in the morning, exercise-induced asthma symptoms
may be avoided with any exercise throughout the day. It is important, however,
to always have an asthma inhaler available in case symptoms still occur.
In addition to taking medications, warming up prior to exercising and
cooling down after exercise can help in asthma prevention. For those with
allergies and asthma, exercise should be limited during high pollen days or
when temperatures are extremely low and air pollution levels are high.
Infections can cause asthma (colds, flu, sinusitis) and increase asthma
symptoms, so it's best to restrict your exercise when you're sick.