Douglas Jones, M.D., is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology and the American Board of Internal Medicine. He specializes in the quality care of allergy, asthma and immunologic disorders. Our experienced, friendly staff is committed to help you control symptoms and find lasting results. » MORE INFO
Be Healthy From the Inside Out
Don't let exercise sideline you this summer
If you find yourself huffing and puffing after exercise, it may be more than the signs of a good workout. But you’re not alone. Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) affects millions of Americans. This disorder can occur by itself or in conjunction with an underlying asthma. It is important to distinguish between the two.
EIB affects athletes
Up to 20 percent of elite athletes suffer from EIB. Men, in particular, tend to ignore their symptoms which may put them in a dangerous situation and limit their ability to perform up to their potential in their sport. With proper treatment, you can enjoy your sport of choice without limitation. Don’t ignore symptoms!
EIB affects people sensitive to humidity
EIB occurs in people with airways that are overly sensitive to air temperature or humidity. During strenuous exercise, most people breathe through their mouths, bypassing the nose, where inhaled air is warmed and humidified. Pollen and pollutants in the air can also trigger EIB especially in those who have underlying allergies and asthma.
EIB symptoms after exercise
Symptoms include coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing shortly after completing exercise. EIB is most likely to occur in cold, dry environments like Utah but can also be triggered in other situations. Some sports are better-suited for those with EIB. Many asthmatics find swimming a good choice because of the warm, humid environment of the pool.
Participating in team sports and individual activities that require short bursts of energy, such as softball, golf or recreational biking, are often better for EIB patients than those activities that demand extended exertion, such as basketball, soccer or long-distance running. Cold weather sports, such as hockey or cross-country skiing, are also more likely to trigger EIB.
EIB doesn’t have to hold you back
People with EIB don’t have to miss out on the many health benefits of exercise and the thrill of sports and competition. With help from an allergist/immunologist, the condition can be successfully managed. Those participating in summer sports should follow directions from their allergist/immunologist to avoid symptoms during practices or games. Parents should inform their child’s coach of the symptoms of EIB and provide instructions for proper treatment. Extra precautions should be taken on days with high temperatures or ozone levels.