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Natural Treatments for Exercise-Induced Asthma

Updated on March 12, 2011

Exercise-induced asthma is one of the most common forms of asthma today. While a large percentage of people with asthma also experience seasonal allergies or react to other forms of asthma triggers, there are some people who only experience asthma symptoms during exercise or periods of physical exertion. This is what is known as exercise-induced asthma, and the cause of it is not known. For people with exercise-induced asthma, routine physical activity may actually help to decrease the severity of asthma symptoms over time. This is because many forms of exercise actually help to improve lung functioning. In addition, there are also several types of breathing exercises that can help to improve lung capacity and reduce exercise-induced asthma symptoms.

The use of a spirometer is often recommended for many people with respiratory conditions. A spirometer works to help improve lung capacity through a series of repeat exercises. The patient breathes into the device as hard and fast as they can over a period of several seconds, expelling all air from the lungs. The device gauges the amount of air expelled. Each time that the exercise is repeated, lung capacity increases, and the gauge continues to move up. Respiratory therapists recommend that patients hospitalized for asthma repeat this exercise several times a day.

Activities like blowing up balloons can also help to increase lung capacity, but physical exercise combined with proper breathing is still one of the best ways to increase lung functioning over time. Still, there are many people that are not able to overcome their exercise-induced asthma symptoms with the use of exercise. In these people, the routine use of bronchodilators and other preventative asthma medications is often recommended. Eucalyptus oil can also help reduce asthma symptoms, when it is inhaled after symptoms begin. 

Peppermint has also been shown to help expand airways and improve breathing, serving as one of the oldest asthma home remedies. Sucking on a peppermint prior to rigorous physical activity may help reduce asthma symptoms in some people, but rescue inhalers should always be on hand. Sipping hot water may also help to open airways after an asthma episode has begun. Home remedies for exercise-induced asthma symptoms often revolve around improving lung capacity and preventing future asthma symptoms through the use of routine asthma medication. For people with exercise-induced asthma, bronchodilators are often used before exercise or team sports in order to prevent symptoms.


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