Do you cough, wheeze or have shortness of breath while being active? These symptoms may not be caused by poor conditioning as one may think. You may be suffering from an underlying condition you are not aware of, such as:
Asthma is a chronic condition that makes breathing difficult due to inflammation in the airways. The swelling, or inflammation, is usually present and can be worsened by a reaction to allergens or upper respiratory infections. Runners who have uncontrolled asthma may find training more strenuous or even impossible when attacks occur.
Exercise Induced Bronchospasm
Traditional asthma is caused by an allergen in the lungs or airway. Exercise-induced bronchospasm produces the same symptoms, such as cough, wheeze or chest tightness, but only after exercising or near the end of workouts.
Vocal Cord Dysfunction
Vocal cord dysfunction is frequently misdiagnosed as asthma. This condition is caused by the vocal cords closing when inhaling or exhaling, often making it more difficult to breathe. Symptoms are similar to asthma, but only emerge during exercise.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to an allergist; ear, nose and throat specialist; or your primary care physician. They will be able to work with you to determine the exact cause of your symptoms and discuss available treatment options which may include medication, inhalers and/or breathing techniques.