Exercise-Induced Asthma Treatment

Some patients experience asthmatic symptoms triggered by physical activity. Read on to learn more about this condition and speak with a medical professional at Impact Medical today.

What is Exercise-Induced Asthma?

Exercise-induced asthma (EIA) is a specific type of asthma that is provoked or exacerbated by physical exertion. Unlike typical asthma triggered by allergens or irritants, EIA primarily occurs during or shortly after exercise. EIA is characterized by the sudden onset of asthma symptoms during physical activity. While EIA symptoms often appear during exercise, they can also manifest in the minutes following the activity and persist for up to an hour afterward.

What Are Exercise-Induced Asthma Symptoms?

It’s important for individuals who experience these symptoms during or after exercise to seek medical evaluation and diagnosis. With proper management and treatment, people with exercise-induced asthma can continue to participate in physical activities while minimizing the impact of these symptoms.


Persistent coughing during or after exercise is a hallmark symptom of exercise-induced asthma (EIA)


Wheezing, characterized by a high-pitched whistling sound while breathing, often accompanies EIA symptoms

Shortness of Breath

EIA can lead to difficulty breathing, causing individuals to feel breathless even with mild exertion

Chest Tightness

Individuals with EIA may experience a sensation of pressure or tightness in the chest, which can be uncomfortable or distressing

Decreased Exercise Performance

EIA can significantly impair exercise or athletic performance due to the associated symptoms and reduced lung function during physical activity

Diagnosing & Treating Exercise-Induced Asthma

Medical History & Physical Exam

Gathering a thorough medical history and conducting a comprehensive physical examination are pivotal steps in diagnosing and managing asthma effectively.

Diagnostic Testing

Your medical provider will conduct pulmonary function tests including spirometry, lung volumes, and DLCO and fractional exhaled nitric oxide as diagnostics tests for asthma. If necessary, additional testing, such as a chest x-ray or a methacholine challenge may also be obtained.


Asthma treatment recommendations will be determined based on the level of severity of your diagnosis.

How to Get Tested for Exercise-Induced Asthma

Spirometry is a breathing test that evaluates the function of your lungs by measuring airflow in order to diagnose asthma.
Lung Volumes
This measures the volume of air in the lungs during different phases of respiratory cycle or with different maneuvers.
Diffusing Capacity of the lungs for carbon monoxide. This is a measurement that assesses the lungs’ ability to transfer gas to and from the inhaled air into the capillaries that line the alveoli in the lungs.
Exhaled Nitric Oxide
Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide (FENO) is a test approved to help assess asthma control. It measures the gas called Nitric Oxide in your breath, which is a marker of inflammation in the lungs.

How Do You Treat Exercise-Induced Asthma?

At Impact Medical, treatment recommendations are based on the severity of EIA. Learn more about some of the treatment options available for asthma below.
Rescue Inhaler
You should have a bronchodilator inhaler, which is used before exercise or as needed to temporarily relieve your exercise induced asthma symptoms when they occur.
Maintenance Medications
Maintenance medications such as Montelukast may be prescribed to prevent symptoms including wheezing, chest tightness, coughing, and breathing difficulties during exercise.

Exercise-Induced Asthma FAQs

If you experience the following symptoms during or after physical activity, you should contact a medical professional at Impact Medical to schedule a diagnosis assessment in order to determine if you have exercise-induced asthma. Common symptoms include:

– Coughing
– Wheezing
– Shortness of breath
– Chest tightness
– Decreased exercise performance

Exercise-induced asthma can be treated with rescue and maintenance medications. Individuals with exercise-induced asthma should use a bronchodilator inhaler before or as needed with the onset of asthmatic symptoms. In some cases a daily maintenance medication such as Montelukast may be prescribed by your provider.

Take the first step to breathing easier during exercise.