Exercise-Induced Asthma: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed on 3/15/2019

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.


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

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/15/2019

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