Exercise-Induced Asthma (cont.)
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What Causes Exercise-Induced Asthma?
Asthma has two components: the underlying chronic inflammation and the periodic attacks. We do not know for certain what causes the underlying inflammation. What we do know is that the tendency to have asthma runs in families and that some people are born with the tendency to have asthma.
We do know that exposure to a trigger causes asthma attacks. In exercise-induced asthma, that trigger is rapid movement of air into the lungs before it is warmed and humidified. This often occurs because of an increased respiratory rate with exercise. The attack is similar in many ways to an allergic reaction.
Sports and games that require continuous activity or are played in cold weather are most likely to trigger an asthma attack.
Sports that are less likely to trigger an asthma attack are those that require short bursts of activity interspersed with breaks.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017
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