Exercise-induced asthma symptoms can include:

  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Fatigue during exercise
  • Poor athletic performance

Exercise-induced asthma symptoms may start a few minutes after you begin exercising, and they may continue to worsen for another 10 minutes or so after you've finished a workout. It's possible to have symptoms both during and after exercise.

Feeling a little short of breath or fatigued when you work out is normal, especially if you aren't in great shape. But with exercise-induced asthma, these symptoms can be more severe.

For many people, exercise is just one of a few asthma triggers. Others can include pollen, pet dander and other airborne allergens.

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if you cough, wheeze, or have chest pain or tightness during or after exercise. Many people don't realize they have exercise-induced asthma because they think these are their body's normal responses to working out. Don't assume your symptoms are caused by being out of shape or short on endurance.

Seek immediate medical treatment if you have worsening symptoms. Severe asthma attacks can be life-threatening. Signs of an asthma attack that needs emergency treatment include:

  • Shortness of breath or wheezing that is quickly getting worse
  • No improvement even after using a rescue inhaler, such as an albuterol inhaler
  • Shortness of breath that continues even after you've recovered from your workout
Nov. 08, 2011

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