Stress Asthma: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

This is a guide to stress asthma i.e. stress induced asthma, its symptoms, how to prevent stress asthma and much more.

Stress Asthma

Asthma stress is asthma, which worsens during intense or prolonged physical exertion. In most people with chronic asthma, symptoms can increase during exercise. Nevertheless, it happens that, in the absence of chronic asthma, the symptoms are still exacerbated, but only during exercise.

Why does physical exertion affect asthma exacerbation?

In ordinary breathing, the air we breathe first heats up and is moisturized in the nasal passages. When people are intensely engaged, they basically breathe through the mouth, breathing in the cold and dry air, respectively.

With asthma stress, the muscle tissue around the airway is more sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity and accordingly respond to these changes by narrowing the airways. The consequences of stress asthma are as follows:

  • Cough
  • The feeling of contraction in the region of the chest
  • Wheezing
  • Unexplained fatigue during exercise
  • Shortness of breath during class

Symptoms of asthma stress usually begin to appear after 5-20 minutes after the start of exercise or 5-10 minutes after the end of a short but intense exercise. If you have these symptoms, be sure to tell them about it.

If I have asthma, I can not go in for sports?

No. Do not give up physical activity because of stress asthma. There are ways to prevent the manifestation of symptoms, which will lead to a normal active life. In fact, most athletes (even Olympic champions) are asthmatic. For example, in 1996 at the Olympics every sixth athlete had asthma. Athletes competed in various sports such as rock climbing, cycling and kayaking, rowing, swimming, hockey, basketball.

Can I somehow prevent stress asthma?

Yes. Using aerosols and bronchodilators before exercise will help control and prevent exacerbation of asthma stress symptoms. The best medication is a beta-2 fast acting agonist, for example, albuterol. Taking the drug 15-20 minutes before the start of training will prevent narrowing of the airways and will allow controlling asthma for 4-6 hours.

There are other medications – a long-acting beta-2 antagonist such as sulfuric acid or foradyl – provide protection and control for 12 hours. If you take these drugs in the morning, you can avoid exacerbation of asthma stress symptoms throughout the day. Nevertheless, it is very important not to forget to carry an inhaler with you if all the same symptoms of asthma show up.

Stress Asthma: Symptoms, Treatment
Stress Asthma: Symptoms, Treatment

For those who have allergies and asthma, physical activity should be limited in the period of rapid flowering of plants, when the air temperature is very low or the level of environmental pollution is very high. Infectious diseases can also cause an attack of asthma (cold, flu, sinusitis) and cause an exacerbation of symptoms so that during illness it is better to limit physical activity.

What exercises are less harmful to stress asthma?

For people with asthma stress, some exercises are more preferable than others. Exercises where short, unstable physical stress is necessary, for example, volleyball, gymnastics, walking, wrestling, are well tolerated by people suffering from stress asthma.

Kinds of sport with long-term constant efforts such as football, long-distance running, basketball, field hockey, are not recommended for people with asthma stresses, as well as winter sports such as ice hockey, skiing and ice skating. Nevertheless, many people with asthma are successfully engaged in such sports.

Swimming, a sport that requires high endurance, is recommended for asthmatics since exercises take place in rooms with moist and warm air.

Support for an active lifestyle, exercise, even with asthma, is very important for both physical and psychological health of a person. It is necessary to try to actively participate in sports activities and everyday life.

Are there any tips for preventing and treating stress asthma?

  • Before starting the workout, use inhalants.
  • Before starting the main part of the workout, warm up the body well.
  • If the temperature on the street is very low, try to indoors or cover your nose and mouth with a mask or scarf.
  • Try to avoid outdoor training during a period of rapid flowering (if you are allergic), as well as in case of an increased level of environmental pollution.
  • In the case of infection with a viral infection, physical activity should be minimized as much as possible.
  • Physical loads should be calculated just for you.

And again, asthma is not a reason to give up physical exercise. With the right diagnosis and treatment, you can enjoy all the benefits of physical activity and not remember about asthma.

Stress Asthma: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention
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