If your child has exercise-induced asthma, preventing flare-ups is a big concern. As with asthma triggered by other things, exercise-induced asthma occurs when the main air passages of the lungs, the bronchial tubes, become inflamed. The muscles of the bronchial walls tighten, and cells in the lungs produce extra mucus. This can cause signs and symptoms that range from minor wheezing to severe trouble breathing. But your child doesn’t have to let asthma limit physical activity. In fact, regular exercise strengthens the lungs, making breathing easier for kids with exercise-induced asthma. Taking a few steps to ease symptoms can help your child avoid asthma flare-ups — and get off the sidelines and into the game.
Control asthma first
Before your child participates in sports, be sure that his or her asthma is under control. Controlled asthma means that regular symptoms and flare-ups are rare. If your child is on medication but continues to have symptoms or regular flare-ups, check with your child’s doctor for possible changes to medications or dosages. Work with your doctor to create a detailed asthma action plan.
Treatment to control asthma varies from person to person and is based on symptoms and triggers. Along with avoiding triggers, a typical treatment plan involves a combination of long-acting medications to control the asthma over time and short-acting inhalers for quick relief of symptoms. Many children benefit from using a short-acting bronchodilator such as albuterol about 15 minutes before exercise. Continue reading About children and exercise-induced asthma