How does exercise trigger asthma attacks?

Updated: Jan 08, 2019
  • Author: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP; Chief Editor: Kenan Haver, MD  more...
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Answer

Exercise can trigger an early asthmatic response. Mechanisms underlying exercise-induced asthmatic response remain somewhat uncertain. Heat and water loss from the airways can increase the osmolarity of the fluid lining the airways and result in mediator release. Cooling of the airways results in congestion and dilatation of bronchial vessels. During the rewarming phase after exercise, the changes are magnified because the ambient air breathed during recovery is warm rather than cool.


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