Exercise-induced asthma. . what are our goals?

I saw a young asthmatic having a rare (and mild) wheezing episode this week.  Her mother wanted a note to excuse her from P.E.   Nope!  That’s the opposite from the desired outcome.   My goal is to give medications so she IS a normal, active kid.

Asthma causes symptoms like coughing, shortness of breath, and wheezing.  Commonly exercise  brings on these symptoms.  Studies show only 23% of kids routinely took their albuterol inhaler before exercise.    Adolescents are most likely to avoid activities because of exercise-related respiratory symptoms.

Asthma treatment can be used in a stair-stepped approach, adding medication as the patient’s symptoms require.  If an albuterol “rescue” inhaler is used twice a week or less, no other medication is needed.  A life-preserver at the pool is like an albuterol inhaler.  If it’s needed more than twice a week, you need to learn to swim (or help your lungs in a different way).  An inhaler with different properties should be added daily, not just when needed.    In addition, if environmental  allergies are a trigger, then a daily antihistamine should be used.

You and your physician can make up an asthma action plan.  A peak flow meter (breathing into a special tube at home) used daily gives you a lung volume number.  This helps gauge lung capacity, before wheezing or other symptoms start.   Check out an action plan.  http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/lung/asthma/asthma_actplan.pdf

Hope this helps.

About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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