Exercise-induced wheezing, also called bronchoconstriction,
happens when the airway passage shrinks during or after exercise. You may feel short of breath, start coughing or wheezing. There are triggers to avoid and some easy treatments. . .
It can be caused by
- cold weather,
- dry air,
- dust or pollen,
- chemicals in the air (like at hockey rinks or swimming pools)
You can wear a mask to help warm and humidify the air. Several inhaled medicines help with the symptoms. There are short-acting inhalers (either bronchodilators or mast-cell stabilizers) that help when taken 15 minutes before exercise and last for 3 to 4 hours. Leukotriene modifiers are another type of medication which when taken daily helps ward off symptoms and are taken regardless of anticipated exercise. Steroid inhalers are also indicated for long-term control of asthma symptoms.
If allergens are your trigger antihistamines like Benadryl, Allegra, Claritin, or Zyrtec may be helpful also.
See your doctor for a history and exam. Consider wearing a medical-alert bracelet (which will help greatly in case of emergency). With the correct diagnosis, you should breathe easily, AND without thinking about it.
The goal is to be active and symptom-free.