One may not know that asthma has many types and one of them is exercise-induced asthma or E.I.A. which is almost similar to the general asthma and induced by sustained aerobic exercise. It also responds to some of the typical asthma medications but it seems it is not caused by the same inflammatory reaction as the other types.
This medical condition may be triggered due to several minutes of vigorous aerobic activity and it requires that the normal nasal breathing may be supplemented by mouth-breathing. The air that has not been humidified and warmed by the nasal passages appears to be increasing the blood flow to the linings of the bronchial tree, causing edema. It results in constriction of these vessels and worsens the level of obstruction of the airflow. This also causes same symptoms like the other forms of asthma but without the inflammatory changes.
The signs of an asthma attack will mainly be shortness of breath and coughing, wheezing or elevated respiratory rate which may be heard even without a stethoscope. In a severe attack, the consciousness level may get altered due to the change in oxygen level in the blood. Mostly, this occurs to somebody with both allergic and E.I.A. in a highly allergen environment and it can prove to be fatal.
The refractory period, in the hour after the attack, mild symptoms may be produced and sometimes, 6-10 hours after the initial attack, a rebound attack with milder symptoms may develop even without any exertion.
The best treatment for asthma is avoiding such situations which trigger an attack. The athletes who are victims of exercise-induced asthma should take preventive measures for asthma attacks, like altered training techniques and medications, in order to continue their involvement in sports. Some sportsmen take an advantage of the refractory period by timing their competition in that period and having the attack during the warm-up time.
The most common medication is to use a beta agonist and some doctors also prescribe inhaled anti-inflammatory such as corticosteroids and mast cell stabilizers have also proven effective. Nebulizers are also a great option for people with asthma. One should always be aware of treatment options of such medical conditions.