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Does My Child Have Sports-Induced Asthma?

When you’re exercising and suddenly start wheezing or coughing, you might chalk it up to being out of shape. However, Matthew Birkle MD, of TriHealth Priority Care, says it could be sports-induced asthma.

“Most people would feel more short of breath than they feel is appropriate for their level of activity,” he explains.

Sports-Induced Asthma: When Should My Child See a Doctor?

Sports-induced asthma, which can be triggered by high pollen, poor air quality, or physical activity, can occur at any age, but it’s more common in young kids.

If your child starts to complain about the following symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor:

  • Recurrent shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Wheezing
  • Excessive fatigue

“You feel like you’re breathing through a straw,” Dr. Birkle adds.

In general, he says to see your doctor “if shortness of breath is interfering with your ability to achieve your activity or it’s reoccurring.”

How Can I be Prepared for a Sports-Induced Asthma Attack?

Once your child is diagnosed, it’s important to maintain an adequate supply of inhalers, especially if your family will be out of town for an extended period of time, so you're prepared if your child has an attack.

On the other hand, your doctor may suggest maintenance medications that your child would take regularly, like Singulair or a maintenance inhaler, to stave off asthma attacks.

However, Dr. Birkle reminds his patients: “Often times, it (sports-induced asthma) will become very insignificant or children will grow out of it.”

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Find a TriHealth Doctor

Matthew Birkle MD
Emergency Medicine
Phone (513) 346-3399

TriHealth Priority Care
6139 Glenway Ave
Cincinnati, OH 45211

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