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St. Francis Sports Medicine Newsletter | December 2010
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December 2010

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With Jack Frost nipping at our nose, we have to take extra precautions when exercising outdoors this winter. Cold weather is one of the main reasons adults suffer from exercise induced asthma attacks. Please continue reading to learn how to prevent exercise induced asthma from occurring to you:

Asthmatic Athletes Should Use Caution

Exercise can elicit an asthma attack on athletes of all fitness levels, even those who do not experience asthma under normal circumstances. And, these asthma attacks develop most often with those who train or perform in cold air.

What is Exercise Induced Asthma?

Exercise induced asthma is the narrowing of the bronchial passage due to an irritation or inflammation from breathing quickly through the mouth.  This narrowing obstructs the airway, making it difficult for the athlete to breathe efficiently, resulting in shortness of breath and wheezing. These asthma attacks may be brought on by a variety of reasons ranging from cold or dry air, air pollution, or high levels of pollen.

Basic Preventive Measures

Having exercise induced asthma doesn't mean you have to stop exercising. Asthmatic athletes have been participating in sports for years, with minimal limitations. Knowing the proper treatments and precautions can keep you active:

  • Don't exercise vigorously when you have a cold
  • Learn to breathe through your nose
  • Choose a humid environment for your workout
  • Use an inhaler prior to activity

Important Next Steps

Exercise induced asthma is often not diagnosed. If you have asthma or think you may have exercise induced asthma, see a primary care sports medicine physician to be properly diagnosed and receive the appropriate medication.  Make sure that your coaches and athletic trainers are aware of your condition so that they are prepared should a problem develop. For additional information on exercise induced asthma, please click here for the St. Francis Health Library.

St. Francis Sports Medicine utilizes the services of Dr. Stephen Keiser; who is a fellowship trained primary care sports medicine physician.

If you have any questions concerning an athletic injury you can contact one of the certified athletic trainers from St. Francis Sports Medicine at 675-HURT.