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Exercise-Induced Asthma Symptoms

March 19, 2014, 6:13 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Exercise-Induced Asthma Symptoms

The number of kids diagnosed with asthma has risen dramatically over the last few years. In the US, asthma cases have increased by more than 60 percent since the early 1980s.

17-year-old Destiny Bultena is excited for soccer season to begin. The Sioux Falls teen says one thing that's helped her soccer game is getting her asthma under control.

"On the sidelines my coach one time was like, 'You need to be playing a lot longer. You are good, but you can't because of your breathing. You need to go get that checked out,’" Bultena said.

Bultena was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma two years ago.

"What you are going to notice most of the time is that as you are exercising, you feel more short of breath. You may be wheezy. It may be difficult to take a breath in or get that breath fully out and you just don't feel you can work up to your potential," Avera Medical Group Dr. Kari Hultgren said.

Hultgren says other signs could be if your child coughs a lot or breaths loudly while getting physical activity.

"If you have untreated asthma, you can have an attack and your airways can theoretically close at some point," Hultgren said.

If you think your child might have exercise-induced asthma, it's a good idea to bring them to the doctor's office because there is medication available.

"Getting evaluated and getting on the right medications is pretty key," Hultgren said.

Many asthma patients take medication before doing a sport or other physical activity.

"If it is linked to some allergy symptoms, allergy season is coming up, so if you can be on top of things and make sure you're pre-medicating with your inhaler before you even go outside or do any sort of physical activity at this point will help you feel a lot better," Hultgren said.

That's exactly what Bultena does and she's noticed a sharp difference.

"I feel like I have more space to breathe out of. I can actually get breaths in. Before I couldn't really," Bultena said.

Hultgren says some people can develop exercise-induced asthma as they get older or move to a new location.

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