What’s This Cough and Wheeze?

If you expe­ri­ence breath­ing issues dur­ing exer­cise, it may not be because you’re out of shape. You may be suf­fer­ing from exercise-induced asthma.

Exercise-induced asthma is a con­di­tion where the air­ways con­strict and pro­duce excess mucus, mak­ing it hard to breathe and cause cough­ing and other symp­toms. It is trig­gered by phys­i­cal exer­tion. Symp­toms include:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Short­ness of breath
  • Chest tight­ness or pain
  • Fatigue dur­ing exercise
  • Poor ath­letic performance

Symp­toms of exercise-induced asthma tend to man­i­fest within 20 min­utes of start­ing a work­out and per­sist for 10 min­utes or so after the work­out ends.

If you are afflicted with exercise-induced asthma, you shouldn’t avoid vig­or­ous phys­i­cal activ­ity. Symp­toms can be treated with help from a med­ical pro­fes­sional. Inhalers and bron­chodi­ala­tors can help alle­vi­ate symp­toms when used before workouts.

If you have any of the symp­toms listed above, don’t assume that you are react­ing nor­mally to exer­cise or that you’re out of shape. Have a doc­tor check you out and get help imme­di­ately if your symp­toms intensify.


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