How Do I Treat Exercise-Induced Asthma?

Question: How do I treat exercise-induced asthma?

Answer: Although exercise-induced asthma is very common, the good news is that it's very effectively treated.

First-line therapy for exercise-induced asthma is prophylactic use of albuterol or another short-acting bronchodilator before exercise. Using albuterol 15 to 20 minutes before exercise will provide three to four hours of protection in 80 to 90 percent of patients. If albuterol is not enough in terms of controlling asthma symptoms during exercise, additional controller asthma medicines can be used, but oftentimes they need to be used on a maintenance or daily basis.

Adjunctive measures that are also important include properly warming up before intense exercise, avoiding known asthma triggers such as freshly cut grass, as well as wearing a mask if you're going to exercise in very cold environments.

Together all these measures taken together can really effectively control exercise-induced asthma in the vast majority of patients.

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