The mechanism of development, symptoms and treatment of bronchial asthma of physical effort

Bronchial asthma is one of the most common diseases. About 9% of the world’s population suffers from the disease. It is a chronic disease of the respiratory system, in which the mucous membrane becomes more sensitive to certain irritating factors. At the time of an attack, the bronchi narrow, breathing becomes difficult.

Physical exertion asthma is one of the forms of bronchial asthma in which bronchial spasm appears from physical exertion.

The mechanism of development of exercise asthma

Often, signs of the disease can be detected in children. After puberty, symptoms of the disease often disappear. It is possible to determine the presence of bronchial asthma of physical effort by monitoring the patient’s well-being when performing certain actions. The attacks begin during or shortly after exercise. Features of the disease:

  • in 75% of patients, signs of the disease appear with fast runs. Covering a long distance without significant stress does not cause an attack;
  • in 25% of patients, signs of the disease occur during ordinary walks, cycling;
  • the uniqueness of this type of disease lies in the fact that an attack does not appear during swimming under any load.

In children and adults, the signs of the disease are formed in the same way. The attack ends when the physical activity stops. In severe cases, the attack continues for 40-60 minutes after physical activity is reduced. It becomes possible to increase the load again after a couple of hours, while usually the spasms become less severe, they are easier to endure.

The formation of respiratory pathology is associated with excessive stress on the body. The condition worsens when cold air enters the respiratory tract.

The bronchi are narrowed, ventilation of the lungs is impaired, there is not enough air, and the person suffocates. If sharp accelerations are avoided while jogging, attacks occur much less often.

Additional information: Young people are more likely to experience exercise asthma.

The disease cannot be called fully studied; to this day, observations are being made of the manifestations of the disease.

Causes and risk factors

Factors provoking the development of asthma from physical exertion:

  1. Viral infection.
  2. Physical stress, such as running fast, exercising without a habit.
  3. Hereditary predisposition.
  4. Smoking (active or passive).
  5. A sharp change in ambient temperature.
  6. Inhalation of cold or dry air during exercise.

The main difference from other types of the disease is the lack of reaction to allergens. The development of symptoms in other types of the disease is observed if pollen, certain substances, dust and other allergens enter the body. There is practically no connection with the effect of external factors in physical stress asthma.

After studying the attacks, it became clear that asthma occurs at low humidity and air temperature. If warm vapor is inhaled, symptoms quickly pass.

Bronchospasm occurs when the mucous membrane is irritated due to hypothermia or drying out. This is possible with frequent deep breathing.

Symptoms of the disease

Physical exertion asthma presents with few symptoms. At the initial stage of the disease, its manifestations disappear on their own after half an hour’s rest.

Further, with the development of pathology, in order to stop the attack, medication is required. The action of medications is aimed at expanding the bronchi. The main manifestations of the disease:

  1. Seizure cough.
  2. Significant shortness of breath on exertion.
  3. Constant feeling of shortness of breath, which is greatly exacerbated by physical activity.

Most often, patients feel suffocation during attacks. To normalize the condition, it becomes necessary to sit down and bend forward. As with other forms of asthma, expiratory dyspnea appears. You have to inhale quickly, exhale more slowly. Sometimes chest pain is felt, especially if wheezing is observed.

Additional information: with severe bronchial spasms, cyanosis may occur. This indicates the presence of acute respiratory failure.

Catarrhal symptoms, coughing, sneezing are sometimes observed before the onset of the attack. A minimum amount of sputum is possible. The cough is only dry.

Other forms of the disease are manifested by a short-term cough, with tension asthma, the duration of the attack can be delayed up to half an hour. At the initial stage of the disease, all signs disappear on their own in 30-40 minutes. The more severe form of the disease is characterized by mild shortness of breath with any physical activity.


Exercise asthma is diagnosed by examining the patient. Signs of the disease can appear during testing at any time, depending on the condition of the body.

Usually the duration of the load does not exceed 8 minutes. After the onset of the attack, it becomes impossible to continue the test, severe shortness of breath interferes. You can replace the running test with a bicycle ergometry or step test.

Shortness of breath is a symptom that everyone can experience individually, at different times and under different conditions. To make an accurate diagnosis, external respiration is examined, the speed and volume of exhaled air is determined.

To identify the disease, additional studies are sometimes carried out:

  1. Allergic test.
  2. Blood test.
  3. External examination of the patient.
  4. Radiography of the lungs.
  5. Listening to the lungs.

Anamnesis is required. It is important to clarify the relationship between physical activity and asthma attacks. Wheezing is often heard without the use of additional instruments. They are sibilant, strong.


To eliminate the signs of bronchial asthma of physical exertion, it is necessary to carry out systematic training of the respiratory system. It is recommended to visit the pool, track and field athletics or gymnastics. The respiratory system recovers with simple exercise. It is necessary to increase the load smoothly, it is forbidden to overload the body so as not to cause another attack.

To choose the right training program, decide on the exercises, you need a medical consultation. Before the start of any lesson, inhalation of bronchodilators is carried out . After drops of medicine enter the bronchi, the load on the respiratory system during exercise is significantly reduced.

Exercise asthma, which is treated with exercise in adults, requires the use of seizure medication. Medicines that dilate the bronchi must be taken in strict accordance with the dosage. Inhalation is carried out no more than 6 times in 24 hours. Exceeding the dosage can lead to heart problems.

Glucocorticosteroids are not always effective in this form of the disease. It is recommended to use inhalation drugs in the cold season before each going outside. If the air temperature is below 3-5 ° C, breathing should be carried out only through the nose. This will prevent the onset of an attack due to cold air entering the bronchi.

Asthma is a disease that cannot be completely cured. You can achieve remission, eliminate symptoms, and avoid complications. Medicines for asthma:

  1. Antagonists of leukotriene receptors. Reduce inflammation in the bronchi.
  2. Cromones . They stabilize cell membranes, relieve inflammation.
  3. Monoclonal antibodies. Used for intractable seizures.

If urgent care is needed, inhalation medications prescribed by a doctor are used. They are used for severe coughing, heavy breathing.

Exercise Asthma Lifestyle

To avoid attacks of bronchial asthma of physical effort, it is necessary to constantly carry out preventive measures. The first thing that is required is monitoring of physical activity. In order for the life of an asthmatic to be practically no different from the life of healthy people, the following recommendations are required:

  1. An inhaler is used before physical activity. You should always carry it with you when going to the gym. After training, you should not immediately go out into the air, you should sit, come to a normal state, relax.
  2. The respiratory system must be protected from cold air. If an asthma patient has a cold, do not strain the lungs at all. It is necessary to walk only at a measured pace, to postpone sports until complete recovery.
  3. Doctors do not recommend giving up sports. If a disease is detected at an early stage, mandatory prevention should be carried out. Its purpose is to strengthen the immune system. With a strengthened body, you can easily engage in any sport, the symptoms of the disease disappear.
  4. Constant training of the respiratory muscles should be carried out. The most useful is a visit to the pool.

Additional information: Girls should avoid physical activity during the menstrual cycle and 7 days before it starts. This limitation is caused by an increased tendency to seizure during this period.

The exercise for asthma should always be measured. Morning and evening classes should be excluded. Before 7.00 and after 19.00, the likelihood of an attack increases.


Physical exertion asthma may not manifest itself in any way if the lifestyle is properly organized. It is necessary to follow simple rules:

  • physical activity should be dosed;
  • breathe in the cold season only with your nose;
  • bronchodilators are taken before going outside in the cold season .

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle reduces the likelihood of bouts of illness. Be sure to see a doctor if symptoms of the disease are found.

Timely detection of the disease and prevention make it possible to live a full life, without the use of additional drugs.

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