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Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm

Medical Series Articles: About Medical Depression ] Achilles Tendonitis ] Asthma Medications ] Back Pain ] Bicycling First Aid Kit ] Collarbone & Shoulder Injuries ] Diabetes, Cycling, & Insulin ] Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm ] Forefoot Problems ] Gastrointestinal Problems ] Heat & Cycling ] Injury in the Tour de France ] Muscle Cramps ] Obesity ] Overuse Injuries ] RICE, NSAIDs ] Ride or Rest? ] Riding Poorly--Is It Medical ] Road Rash ] Saddle Sores ] Sleep for Cyclists ] Stretching ] Tips to Lose Weight ] Traumatic Injuries ]

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Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm (Introduction)

Many athletes complain of breathing problems during exercise. Some problems can occur under any circumstances; some are specific to exercise.

Good treatment for exercise-induced bronchospasm is available.


Asthma, Bronchospasm, Exercise-Induced Asthma, Exercise-Induced Bronchospasm (EIB)

Many people suffer from asthma, or spasm of the air passages. The classic definition of asthma used to be “reversible airway obstruction,” implying that the spasm or obstruction of the air passages could be helped with medicines. The extent to which a lung problem could be reversed with medication reflected the degree of spasm.

Modern thinking has it that in addition to pure spasm, some mucous-producing obstruction is involved.

It is now known that some effects of asthma on lung function are irreversible in patients with long-standing disease.

Many individuals are aware that wheezing is the hallmark symptom of asthma. Cough, however, is the most common feature of this problem. Chest tightness is a frequent symptom.

Asthma shares the gene that predisposes a person to hay fever, allergic rhinitis (a nose condition), eczema (a skin condition), and migraine. When one or more of these medical problems runs in your family, you are more likely to have asthma, especially asthma made worse by allergies.

Many people have asthma as a child and “grow out of it.” Others have mild symptoms related to their underlying tendency toward asthma—they may be aware that they wheeze only with a cold or the flu, or that their colds last longer than other people’s.

Cold, exercise, dry air, and pollution are other factors that tend to bring on or worsen asthma. A cyclist often faces one or more of these exacerbants when riding. Many racers have problems with exercise-induced asthma, or exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB). These terms are commonly used interchangeably. EIB affects perhaps as many as one-third of all racers and Olympic-endurance athletes.

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