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For Athletes

Exercis Induced Asthma

Exercise induced asthma, or exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), is a common problem that is caused by high intensity exercise which leads to airway narrowing that lasts 30 to 90 minutes if untreated. Studies suggest that EIB may be in as common as 10-20% of the general population, and 30-50% of patients with established asthma.


  • Coughing
  • CoughingWheezing (whistling expiratory noise when breathing)
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Chest Tightness

Evaluation can include exercise challenge testing. An exercise challenge simulates the physical exertion that elicit symptoms that can be measured objectively on a breathing test in a monitored setting.

Treatments Can include:

  • Controller medication
  • Rescue medication.

By visiting an allergist, you too can take control of your exercise induced asthma and improve your quality of life.

Vocal Cord Dysfunction

Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD) is a condition that athletes can experience. It is caused by improper movement of the vocal cords that can lead to symptoms that can be misconstrued as asthma. Because these patients do not have asthma, they typically do not respond to the typical therapies used in asthma. Diagnosis may involve use of fiberoptic laryngoscopy to look at the vocal cords when patients have symptoms. Treatment can include speech therapy to retrain the vocal cords.

Vasomotor Rhinitis (including Skier’s nose)

Vasomotor rhinitis is a type of nasal disease caused by sensory neural dysregulation that leads to nasal inflammation. Symptoms are similar to those of typical hay fever; however, the triggers are not allergens. Rhinorrhea or “runny nose” is a common symptom, although other symptoms can include stuffy nose, sneezing and postnasal drip.

Triggers include the following:

  • Exercise
  • Cold air/dry air
  • Barometric pressure or temperature shifts
  • Strong scents
  • Alcohol
  • Food

Treatment options in the treatment of allergies are:

  • Avoidance Measures
  • Medications

By visiting an allergist, you too can take control of your allergies and improve your quality of life.


Exercise induced anaphylaxis

Exercise induced anaphylaxis, and its variant, food-dependent exercise induced anaphylaxis (FDEIA) are rare disorders where patients get immediate systemic symptoms. In the second condition, symptoms can be elicited after vigorous exercise if one has eaten certain foods 4-6 hours prior. Symptoms can include:

  • Hives, swelling
  • Flushing
  • Wheezing
  • GI symptoms (nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea)
  • Lightheadedness, fainting, loss of consciousness.

There is testing to identity potential culprit foods. Management includes avoiding exercise in proximity to exercise, carrying an epinephrine auto-injector among other safety measures.

Cholinergic urticaria

Urticaria, also known as “hives” or “welts,” is a fleeting, itchy, red, raised rash with a mosquito bite like appearance. There is a type of generalized hives that patients can get from elevated body temperature. Triggers can include heat, exercise, emotional triggers among others.

Allergists are considered the experts in urticaria and diagnose this condition by history and exam. The goals of treatment are to prevent itching and the development rash.

By visiting an Allergist, you too can take control of your urticaria and improve your quality of life

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