Physical exertion asthma

Physical exertion asthma is a common type of bronchial asthma, which manifests itself as bronchospasm even with minor physical exertion. It limits the activity and performance of an adult, worsens the quality of his life. It is especially difficult for children, since they lead a fairly active and mobile lifestyle. It is important to consult a specialist in time to diagnose the disease and start treatment, this will help to avoid complications in the future. Timely treatment, especially in children, can lead to long-term remission or complete cure of the disease.

Causes of occurrence

Factors affecting the pathogenesis of asthma include:

  • viral infections;
  • physical fatigue and overstrain;
  • cold or dry air;
  • genetic predisposition;
  • bad habits (for example, smoking).

Most often, a cough and subsequent attacks of suffocation appear in conditions of low humidity and at sub-zero temperatures.

Symptoms of the disease

After active physical activities (running, exercise equipment, jumping) for 10 minutes, people suffering from the disease have bronchospasm , which manifests itself in the form of choking, coughing and shortness of breath. Symptoms arise from a sharp narrowing of the lumen in the bronchi. This sensation disappears within 40-50 minutes after the completion of the exercises.

In a child, such asthma most often manifests itself as increased shortness of breath and the presence of wheezing after active play, running. In pediatric practice, the disease in children is rare, and in most cases disappears forever by the time of puberty.

The main symptoms that will identify asthma:

  • pain and tearing sensations in the chest;
  • sputum discharge when coughing;
  • rhinitis;
  • heart palpitations (occurs in the elderly);
  • cyanosis of the nasolabial triangle (speaks of a severe form of the course of the disease);
  • pallor of the skin.

The presence of only shortness of breath during exercise is not an absolute indicator of bronchial asthma.


The main method that will determine the asthma of physical exertion is the “running test”. To do this, the patient is offered to perform exercises on a treadmill or step platform, after which the doctor assesses the nature of the attack and the violation of the functions of the respiratory system.

Most of the patients suffer from attacks of coughing and choking only during the period of active training, a smaller number of patients experience difficulties even when walking and climbing stairs. Typically, seizures stop when the body returns to rest.

Which doctor to contact

Many specialists are involved in the treatment of asthma, but the first person to contact is a pulmonologist. He will determine the causes of coughing and choking and, if necessary, refer to other specialists. For example, if spasms are caused by an allergic reaction, to an allergist, if there are complications affecting the gastrointestinal tract or heart, to a gastroenterologist and a cardiologist, respectively.

Required examinations

To clarify the diagnosis, a comprehensive examination of the patient is carried out. It includes:

  • collection of information and complaints;
  • visual inspection;
  • listening to the lungs;
  • delivery of tests (blood, urine);
  • sputum collection for research;
  • chest x-ray;
  • spirography procedure;
  • peak flowmetry .

In children, bronchography is performed to detect the disease.

Treating exercise-induced asthma

The drugs for physical exertion asthma used in treatment depend on the severity of the disease:

  1. Cromones (such as Cromohexal ) reduce allergic reactions.
  2. Antagonists of Leukotriene- receptor antagonists ( zafirlukast ) reduce inflammation, which is caused by the action of antigens.
  3. Monoclonal antibodies ( Xolar ) are usually prescribed for severe cases.
  4. Beta-2 agonists ( Foradil ) protect against asthma symptoms for 12 hours.
  5. Salbutamol improves respiratory processes and relieves wheezing.

For professional athletes, it is not recommended to use preparations containing catecholamine, which is considered doping.

It should be noted that the treatment should be dosed and strictly in accordance with the prescription prescribed by the doctor; incorrect use of drugs causes complications in the heart, kidneys and other organs.

Dosing load

To reduce asthma attacks, the patient must adhere to the following rules:

  1. First of all, the patient should not give up physical education.
  2. You should start the day with a small (10-15 minutes) exercise.
  3. To defeat the disease, it is necessary to train the lungs with the help of breathing exercises.
  4. You can do sports such as swimming, yoga, volleyball, but not overload your body.
  5. Doctors agree that it is necessary to start with less difficult exercises, gradually increasing the intensity.
  6. Between approaches, you should definitely rest, giving yourself time to recover.
  7. It is not recommended to exercise early in the morning and late in the evening, since at this time the mucus in the bronchi is released especially actively, which increases the likelihood of spasm.


It is quite difficult to cure asthma immediately and completely, so the patient should focus on increasing immunity. Prevention and exercise can help reduce symptoms and maintain the same level of exercise. In practice, there are cases when professional athletes suffering from asthma continued training and even participated in the Olympic Games. For example, in sports such as swimming, basketball, hockey.


To prevent the development of attacks of coughing and choking, a number of preventive measures should be followed:

  • engage in physical education and breathing exercises;
  • use a bronchodilator before exercising ;
  • one should learn to breathe through the nose, so the air is cleared and warmed up;
  • in the case of seasonal allergic rhinitis, physical activity should be avoided during an exacerbation.

Possible complications

Women are not advised to go to the gym 7-10 days before the start of the menstrual cycle, as during this period of time there is the greatest risk of an asthma attack.

Signs of complications include:

  • asphyxia, which can turn into a chronic stage;
  • deterioration of the general condition;
  • intensifying attacks.

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