Exercise-Induced Asthma: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 11/9/2022

Exercise-induced asthma is asthma that is triggered by vigorous physical activity. Exercise-induced asthma is more common in children and young adults because of their high levels of physical activity, but it can occur at any age.

Signs and symptoms of exercise-induced asthma are similar to those of asthma attacks due to other causes and include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, increased work to breathe, increase in respiratory rate, chest tightness, and chest pain. Other possible associated symptoms in people suffering from exercise-induced asthma can be fatigue during exercise, lightheadedness, avoidance of activity or exercise, or poor athletic performance.

Cause of exercise-induced asthma

The cause of exercise-induced asthma is related to a fall in airway temperature during rapid breathing followed by rapid reheating with lowered ventilation.

Other exercise-induced asthma symptoms and signs

  • Avoidance of Activity
  • Chest Pain
  • Chest Tightness
  • Cough
  • Fatigue While Exercising
  • Increased Respiratory Rate
  • Lightheadedness
  • Poor Athletic Performance
  • Shortness of Breath When Exercising
  • Wheezing


Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease. See Answer

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.