By Timothy J. Craig, DO, FACAAI
Q: My daughter only has asthma symptoms while exercising, so why does she need allergy testing?
A: Some people don’t notice their breathing problems until they start to exercise or push their exercise to a higher level. This is true especially of children, who may think everyone breathes the way they do!
The vast majority of people with exercise-induced asthma or bronchoconstriction actually have unstable asthma they don’t notice at other times. That means that, in addition to medication, they need to avoid things that irritate their lungs, such as allergens, smoke and pollutants. About 85 percent of people with asthma also have allergies, so it makes sense to have an allergist run tests to find out what they are allergic to. That way, they can take steps to reduce exposure.
With the right diagnosis and treatment anyone with asthma can be as active as they’d like. No one should accept anything less.
Timothy J. Craig, DO, FACAAI, is professor of medicine and pediatrics at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, a member of the American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology (ACAAI) Board of Regents, and former chairman of the ACAAI sports committee.
Sponsored by: American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI).
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First published in Allergy & Asthma Today, Winter 2010, Volume 8, Issue 4.