Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) is one of the many types of asthma in America. It is most common in the sports world or with those who exercise regularly. However, it can happen to anyone! Allow us to explain what EIB is, its symptoms, management tips, and more:
All About Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction (EIB)
Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), also referred to as exercise-induced asthma, occurs when a person is doing or has just completed strenuous exercise. Airways begin to narrow due to the loss of heat and/or water as the person breathes in drier air than what’s in the body.
Further, it’s important to know that certain sports-related triggers can create EIB symptoms, as well, such as air pollution while running outside, chlorine in pool water while swimming, or cold air while playing hockey. Breathing in dry air coupled with sports-related triggers can cause severe EIB symptoms.
Typically, symptoms appear a few minutes into the exercise routine and can continue after the routine is complete.
What are the symptoms of EIB?
- Chest tightness
- Chronic coughing
- Lack of endurance
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Upset stomach
Sports that require the athlete to exercise for long periods of time and/or in cold weather (i.e. cross country, basketball, ice skating, or hockey), create a higher risk for EIB symptoms to occur. Sports that are designed with breaks and/or in warm or humid temperatures (i.e. football, golf, baseball, or volleyball), are not usually the culprits of EIB.
It can be difficult to know if you have EIB, as exercising generally does make the body work harder and produce symptoms. However, it’s imperative that you receive an accurate diagnosis if you have one or more of the symptoms listed above during and/or after a workout.
Your allergist will talk to you about your symptoms, run tests, provide an accurate diagnosis, and talk to you about how to manage and treat it. There are medications that can help stop or slow down EIB symptoms. Managing the condition is important, as well, so you can continue exercising or playing the sport you love. Certain management tips include:
- Avoid triggers while exercising.
- Breathe through your nose instead of mouth while you exercise, as this warms the air before entering your lungs.
- Build up to your strenuous exercise routine by first performing gentle exercises.
- Opt for prescription medication instead of over-the counter drugs.
Langford Allergy can help you manage EIB.
Whether you’re an Olympic athlete or middle school basketball star, EIB can make you feel like your athletic career is over. Don’t let EIB have the last say in your sports journey! With the right team of medical professionals, medicine, and a management plan, you can continue playing sports and exercising. Make an appointment with our team today: 478-787-4728
Stay tuned for our four-part series on different types of asthma:
- Part 1 – A Spotlight on Non-Allergic & Allergic Asthma
- Part 2 – A Spotlight on Adult-Onset Asthma
- Part 3 – A Spotlight on Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction (EIB)
- Part 4 – A Spotlight on Occupational Asthma & COPD Overlap