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asthma?

What is asthma like? I know it gets hard to breathe when you’re running... but is there a such a thing as mild asthma, where it’s kinda uncomfortable, and you can feel your throat kinda wettening up as if getting ready to throw up, and you get slightly coughy? Or is that just normal? I always assumed it was normal, but I’m starting to think that maybe I have an excuse for some of my inactivity over the years... It used to hurt to run. I’m getting better, a lot better, and that makes me think it’s not asthma, but last night at DDR it reminded me of the old feeling again for a little bit...

So, what the heck is asthma? I think I’ll do some web searches.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
tla
Apr. 2nd, 2003 11:38 am (UTC)
I don't have a clinical definition for asthma, but...

When I was in college, my dad was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma. I was in ROTC at the time, and hated it, so went to the med center to see if I had the same problem, since what you described would happen to me. The diagnosis process was "Here's an inhaler; use it when you have the problem, and if it makes you feel better then you have exercise-induced asthma."

I never followed through on using the inhaler though.
crs
Apr. 2nd, 2003 11:52 am (UTC)
Aha... hearing the word "exercise-induced" helped my search greatly... I found this quick facts link at aaaai.org and it sounds like it fits the bill... I wish I had thought of this before the doctor appointment I had last week, it would have made things a lot easier.
geekosaur
Apr. 2nd, 2003 11:57 am (UTC)
That's what I usually get, although it isn't often triggered by exercise; I gave an inhaler and use it when necessary (thankfully, not too often although this past winter was kinda bad). I've heard this referred to as "coughing asthma".

There isn't a very good definition of asthma, by the way; clinically chronic asthma is defined as "at least six difficulty-breathing episodes per year which require use of an albuterol nebulizer", and more generally breathing problems which require administration of albuterol are considered asthmatic in nature.
cfox
Apr. 2nd, 2003 10:03 pm (UTC)
My understanding is that in many cases, mild asthma gets better if you get in shape, because as you build lung capacity, you have more leeway before you notice symptoms.

If you want to avoid a diagnosis, it's probably harmless to see if warming up for longer before doing something strenuous helps. Asthma's not considered curable, so there's a few edge cases for which having been diagnosed (at any time, even if it's not currently a problem) is to your disadvantage (I think Mike mentioned being annoyed that he can't get a diving certification because of it, even though he hasn't had an asthma attack in years).

It is normal for your chest to hurt if you go directly from a resting state into exercising all-out. Exercising in an ozone advisory (longish bike trip, didn't check the forecast) gave me a sore spazzy chest where I wanted to cough every time I took a deep breath, for days afterwards; I'd assume that's among the normal reactions to breathing irritants.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )