I’ve just been diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma. No surprise really, two weeks after my severe allergy attack, I was still coughing a lot which is one of the first signs of asthma. Once I was back to cycling and working out, I noticed I coughed more and heavier exertion left me panting and tired. Plus, both during and after periods of vigorous activity, I’d cough more and I felt like I had to expend more effort. Then there were the insidious coughing spells when I talked a lot (par for me) or laughed. Not one to mess around when it comes to my health, I went to see my doctor. The good news is, I’m in great health. My blood pressure was excellent even after two big cups of coffee—something I’m always happy to see since there is a family history of high blood pressure. My lungs were clear despite the coughing and I rocked the spirometer—a gadget you blow into to measure breath output—scoring over 100 points higher than the norm for my age. My one and only issue is my allergies… ergo the asthma.
So my doctor sent me home with an Albuterol inhaler with instructions to use it about 15 minutes before exercise. Let me tell you, it has made a world of difference. For the first time since my allergy attack, I was actually able to take deep breaths and fill my lungs completely which in turn made the activity less difficult. I’m much stronger pedaling up the hills with less huffing and fatigue. Sweet! I get a little jittery after using the inhaler but it doesn’t last long enough to be an issue.
Although my doctor thinks my asthma is probably temporary she cautioned that there are no guarantees. So the plan is just to take it a day at a time.