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Is Exercise Induced Asthma A Different Form of Asthma?

Occasionally asthma attack happen only during, or shortly after, exercise.

Initially, doctors thought this was a different form of asthma, an entirely different form, but it is now known that it is common for people with asthma to have asthma attacks during exercise.

These people do have asthma that is triggered by the exercising, however the asthma is not caused by exercising.

In other words, the asthma existed in the person BEFORE the exercise, however it is a mild case of asthma, which is brought out by the heavier, faster breathing brought on by exercise.

Doctors used to puzzle about why children got exercise-induced asthma much more than adults.

Research into this revealed the simple truth that the majority of adults don't exercise or play as children do.

Increased breathing during exercise causes cooling and drying of the lining of the air passages, which can trigger exercise-induced asthma.

This explains why warm moist air protects against exercise-induced asthma and why swimming is better exercise for an asthmatic than running, or biking.

Exercise-induced asthma can be useful for asthma research and diagnosing asthma in children.

It can be used for testing the effectiveness of new medicines that may help treat asthma in the future.

With exercise of six minutes a child is often breathing hard enough and fast enough to bring on a "mild" asthma. "This is very safe" and this has brought on early and appropriate advice and treatment for many asthmatics.

It can cause athletes a particular problem which is why some cross-country skiers wear breathing masks which store some body heat and moisture from the air they breathe out and return it to the air they breathe in.

Swimmers are fortunate in that, especially with indoor pools, the air surrounding them is moist and warm.

However it is also common that asthmatic professional athletes must be careful with their medications as it may lead to disqualification.

However, all the ordinary asthma medicines and treatments, used for management, are acceptable to sporting bodies.

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