Can you develop Asthma with exercise?

Patient

Q: Hi,so the other day i was in a 3000 metre running race, and about half way through it my lungs felt like they closed up. i am 14 and have never experienced something so bad, i tried to breathe in but it felt like there was no room for breath and i kept coughing. after i finished i had to sit down and for a good 10 minutes found it hard to breathe. my mate lended me her inhaler and after i used that i felt better. is this asthma or just my own body. all of this came to a shock to me as i am very active. is this asthma?

Doctor

A:   I realize your worry about Asthma. There is a condition called Asthma of exercise which causes people to wheeze or feel out of breath during or after exercise. As with asthma triggered by other things, exercise-induced asthma symptoms occur when the airways tighten and produce extra mucus.
There's no particular exercise people must avoid when they have exercise-induced asthma, but activities that make you breathe hard are more likely to trigger symptoms. For example, aerobic exercise, such as running or playing basketball, hockey or soccer, is more likely to trigger symptoms than is weightlifting, golfing or moderate-paced walking. Likewise, exercising in cold weather also can increase asthma symptoms because you're breathing in a lot of cold, dry air.
If you develop the same symptoms during exercise eventually, I would suggest you to consult your PCP to rule out this possibility. Let me reassure you that this does not mean you won’t be able to exercise again. I wish you the best.

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