Fall Allergies and Exercise-induced Asthma
Thirty to 40 percent of people with seasonal allergies experience exercise-induced asthma (EIA). Symptoms of EIA can include coughing, wheezing, chest pain and shortness of breath. EIA usually hits within the first 10 minutes of vigorous exercise and usually last for 20 to 30 minutes.
There are a number of steps you can take to avert an EIA episode:
- Avoid exercising outdoors in conditions that can trigger an allergic reaction. If you're allergic to mold, for example, choose an activity other than hiking in the woods, where dampness and leaves can promote mold growth.
- If you can't bring your favorite workout indoors, talk to your doctor about taking medicine before exercising.
- Cold air can contribute to EIA. When the weather's cold, cover your mouth and nose with a scarf; this will help warm the air before it reaches your lungs.
- Warm up with light activity (walking, jogging) for 10 to 15 minutes before starting your workout. This helps the lungs gradually adjust to the increased oxygen demand.