Exercise induced asthma now getting worse

I have had excercise induced asthma for the last 20 years which has always been under control using a blue inhaler (salbutomal) immediatel prior to exercise. In the last 3-4 months the blue inhaler has stopped working and in addition I now have breathing issues when not exercising.

I have been to see a specialist who have taken some allergy tests and also some blood test. At the same time he gave me a red inhaler (which includes a dose of steroids). Whilst the red inhaler has made thing more bearable it is certainly not back to where I was.

The initial allergy test (prick test) showed that I am highly allergic (!!) to just about everything including pollen, horse hair, dust mites etc. etc. but I can't believe that these allregies have suddenly developed.

I have another appointment in three weeks to track progress in the meantime I have had to significantly reduce exercise to where I can now only run at 10-11 kmh (previously 13-14). If I work out too hard then it feels like my lungs have been damaged and takes 2-3 days to recover.

Anyone else had a similar problem? What was the solution (if there was one)?

5 Replies

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  • running is the one that does my lungs in, despite having well controlled asthma (at the moment) I take around 3 days to recover from a 7-10K run (1hr/10K pace aprox now) have you tried using the ventolin before, it helps, but doesnt fully control the problem, I have no explination why and the asthma nurse has said not to worry. I can go from a morning high peakflow of 680 and have an evening reading of 530 after a run, with a cough, but give it a few days and I'm fine, she said nothing to worry about, mainly as the peakflow chart keeps going up anyway. Cycling and swimming seem the safest if I don't want the drop, no problems with either of them.

  • nasal breathing while running filters the triggers you breathe in

    Have you tried to breathe through your nose while exercising?

    If you can breathe through your nose (NB both in and out- every breath) and continue to do so while exercising then your symptoms should reduce. Initially this will also greatly affect your speed but within about 6 weeks or so you should get back to where you were in

    terms of speed. This will also cause your nose to run so you will need tissues.

    To start with, you would only run as fast as your lungs/nose will allow you to without resorting to mouth breathing. If you cannot get enough air then slow down or if necessary stop but keep breathing through your nose. If you have pushed it too hard then you may need several mouth gulps of air but try not to push it for the first few attempts. If this is causing more than mild discomfort then you will need to slow down further.

    If you are racing or measuring your speed then you should warm up for at least ten minutes beforehand (while nasal breathing) and warm down for at least ten minutes afterwards and do your best not to finish on a sprint. If you sprint finish, then jog around for a further ten minutes to allow your lungs to reduce the rate of breathing slowly back towards resting volumes.

    This method of breathing while you are running results in improving how your lungs feel afterwards and can help your symptoms at rest too (as exercise should). You should also greatly reduce this damage effect and also you should not need a recovery time or a much reduced one. This will mean you could continue this form of exercise fro many years to come in a self controlled (by your lungs and nose) fashion.

    regarding triggers, i think that your nose blocks and filters particles out of your body within 15 minutes and those lodged through mouth breathing (breathed in deep into the lungs and with greater force) can remain for 60-120 days.

    The onset of your increased sensitivity/allergy may have been triggered by some event or change in your life or even a particularly bad chest cold/infection.

  • Buteyko'd. please can I draw your attention to the section of the T&Cs which states you should not ""post your message twice under different subtopics"". I know you are keen to get your message across but most users will read all topics and subtopics, so you only need post the same message once.

    Thanks

    CathBear

    (Moderator)

  • Cp'n Scarlet, welcome to the boards. You didn't bring the Mysterons with you, did you? ;-)

    In general, Exercize-Induced Asthma (EIA) is thought to be an expression of generally more poorly controlled asthma, although a few individuals do suffer with EIA alone. This would certainly be reflected in your experiences of now noticing symptoms even when at rest.

    You've got the steroid inhaler now, and sometimes playing around with the dose of this can help - increasing it to a level whereby your symptoms are controlled even when exercising. Sometimes this isn't sufficient, though, and people can benefit from a different inhaler or even a tablet. For me, I have found something called Montelukast - AKA Singulair - a particular help for EIA.

    Woody-Som, I'm a little more concerned that it's taking you 2-3 days to recover from a run - is there any play for better managing your overall asthma control? (I know you've said generally you are well controlled, but ideally, it shouldn't be affecting you so much).

  • Thanks for the replies so far.

    In the past I always took Ventolin before a run and with the exception of very cold weather it was pretty much 100% sucessful. Even on the occasions when I forgot my Ventolin, so long as I warmed up very slowly then I would be ok. So to have the situation now where it doesn't seem to work is both scary and annoying in equal measure (I know people have it a lot worse so its all relative).

    I have never tried the breathing through the nose technique but I will certainly give it a try. I find the asthma is not as bad if I run indoor (on a treadmill) as opposed to outside which suggests there could be something to do with pollen that is causing it.

    In the meantime I will keep taking the current medication until my next visit to the doctor.

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