[Ryan Burkholder graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University receiving a BA degree in Health and Human Kinetics. Ryan also ran Cross Country and Track for Ohio Wesleyan University. ]

In the last twenty years, the prevalence of exercise-induced asthma (EIA) in teenage distance runners has increased dramatically. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways that has an affect 14.6 million Americans. Of that number, 10.4 million are under the age of 45 and 4.8 million in children. Asthma cost more than $4.6 billion per year in medical care and time lost from school and work. There is no known cure for asthma, but it can be controlled.(Gordon, 2015)

EIA, more specifically, is an intermittent narrowing of the airways accompanied by the individual experiences wheezing, chest tightness, coughing with of presence of lung inflammation (Bernhardt 2016). EIA occurs when you are mainly working out and exercising. The time that people would experience these symptoms would be around 5 to 20 minutes after they started the workout or 5 to 10 minutes after a short exercise that has stopped. (DerSarkissian, 2016)

EIA will mainly occur when you are in a cold weather or where the air is pretty dry. You should keep an inhaler on hand in case you have symptoms while you’re working (Benaroch 2015). When an asthma attack does occur the best thing to do is to stop what you are doing and take the inhaler. If you do not have your inhaler the best thing to do is to take deep breaths, drink cold water, put your hands on head to open up your lungs, and remain upright. To potentially prevent an asthma attack from happening you should make sure you take your inhaler about 15 minutes before you start exercising. Breathing through your nose can also aid in reducing the likelihood of an asthma attack. This will help warm and moisten the air before it reaches the lungs.(Asp 2014)

If you are exercising and feel the onset of EIA symptoms, you may have to modify your training before your next session. Modified training may mean a longer warm-up and cool-down period or pacing yourself for endurance instead of speed. Modified training allows you to gradually increase your physical strength and lung capacity without being defeated by EIA symptoms. (“What is Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA)” N.p., n.d.)


Asp, Karen. “Exercise and Asthma: Is Exercise Jeopardizing Your Health?” HL. N.p., 2014.Web. 05 Feb. 2017.

Benaroch, Roy. “When Should I Use My Inhaler?” WebMD. WebMD, 2 May 2015. Web. 03 Feb. 2017

Bernhardt, Gale. “Endurance Athletes and Exercise-induced Asthma.”active.com.N.p., 2016.Web. 14 Feb. 2017

DerSarkissian, Carol. “Exercise-Induced Asthma: Symptoms, Treatments, Prevention, and Causes.” WebMD. WebMD, 28 Apr. 2016. Web. 02 Feb. 2017.

Gordon, Laurie. “Breathe Easy.” Runner’s World. N.p., 26 May 2015. Web. 02 Feb. 2017.

“What is Exercised-Induced Asthma (EIA)?” The Asthma & Allergy Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2017