Don’t Force It: Watch Out for Signs of Exercise-Induced Asthma

Otherwise known as exercise-induced bronchospasm, EIA has symptoms that would easily be mistaken for being overweight. Most parents may immediately brush it off as being normal biological responses to exertion – but it’s not. As the name suggests, exercise-induced asthma is when the airways get narrowed as a result of strenuous exercise. It is most prevalent among kids and teenagers. It is possible to be diagnosed with EIA, even without any underlying asthma condition. If you notice that your child portrays the following symptoms during or after strenuous exercise, don’t push them too hard:

  • Avoiding any activity (common among young children)
  • Unsatisfactory athletic performance
  • Excessive fatigue in the course of and after a workout
  • Pain or tightness in the chest
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath

They typically begin to show between 5-10 minutes after they start to exercise and when they stop. If left untreated, the above symptoms may last longer than 60 minutes. While someone winded and out of shape may recover faster, it may take significantly longer for someone with EIA. It could get even worse, especially during extreme temperatures such as cold weather.

Specialists check for exercise-induced asthma via vocal cord tests, echocardiography, electrocardiography, or specialized pulmonary function testing. Of course, the particular method they use will be based on your child’s personal medical history and symptoms.

What Brings About EIA?

If you live in a cold environment, this may be a contributing factor. Therefore, when your child exercises outside and inhales the cold, dry air, the higher their chances of contracting EIA. Kids breathe through the mouth quickly when they exercise or play for extended hours. Their lungs miss the humidifying and warm effects that occur when breathing slower through the nose.

The airways become narrower from the cold, dry air, airflow becomes stained, thereby making breathing an uphill task. This is known as bronchoconstriction. This should not deter kids and teens from exercising regularly and staying fit. Provided it is neither forced nor exaggerated, exercise assists a great deal in reducing the asthma symptoms.  

Is EIA Treatable?

Pretreatment measures for EIA are available. Before your child gets very active or wants to exercise, they should take prescribed quick-relief medicine. Seek emergency medical attention when you notice zero improvements after your child uses a prescription inhaler amid an asthma attack. Also, make it a point to visit a specialist if your child struggles to breathe from increased wheezing or shortness of breath.

As much as it is treatable, EIA is also preventable. Keep an eye on the allergen and pollution levels in the atmosphere based on your child’s triggers. Since you know now that cold air triggers asthma symptoms, encourage your kids to exercise indoors.

Once your specialist gives your child a thumbs up to proceed with regular workouts, invest in indoor gym equipment. If you’re not sure where to get them, look no further than Fitness Kid. Our equipment is of the best quality and can last for many years. Contact us today to determine the best playground sets and equipment for your young one.