Exercise Induced Asthma

Physical activity is especially important for people with asthma. Physical activity improves our lung capacity and blood flow and is calming, fulfilling and fun.

However, for many people with asthma, physical activity can trigger symptoms during or after exercise, such as wheezing, tightness of the chest, or coughing. Some people think they are getting older or are unfit, but they might have Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA).

The good news is that it is easy to find out if you have EIA. Ask your doctor, nurse or Asthma Society for a peak flow meter.

Take your peak flow reading before and after exercise. If your peak flow rate drops 20 percent after exercise then you have EIA.

What causes it?

Researchers believe that the cool air you breathe when you exercise dries the lining of your breathing tubes.

This triggers your breathing tubes to spasm and become tight. Some people who get EIA end up avoiding activity, rather than managing their asthma effectively.

However EIA needn’t slow you down. Almost everyone with asthma can lead an active life. If you can’t exercise without getting asthma, see your doctor.

Remember that being physically active is an important part of your asthma management, and shouldn’t be avoided. Once your asthma is well-managed, you should be able to exercise without symptoms.