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EIB Asthma Quiz

Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (also called EIB) or exercise-induced asthma, is a narrowing of the airways that makes it hard to move air out of the lungs. Asthma is a disorder involving inflammation in the lungs associated with narrowing of the airways. Most patients with asthma will have some narrowing of the airways when they exercise. Some patients will only have narrowing of the airways with exercise and do not otherwise have asthma. In contrast, patients who have asthma will have narrowing of the airways associated with a number of triggers other than exercise, such as viral infections and allergies.

EIB Venn diagram EIB causes symptoms of coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. Patients with EIB may experience symptoms within 5-20 minutes after starting exercise, but usually will have symptoms after exercise stops. EIB may occur more easily on cold, dry days than on warm, humid days.

Question 1
I wheeze a little when I exercise, but I am okay after I walk for a minute or two. This means I don't have asthma or exercise-induced bronchoconstriction.
False: Even mild symptoms of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction may indicate that, under the "right" circumstances, you may experience symptoms. Please inform your health care provider of your symptoms and ask for appropriate care.
Question 2
My child with asthma or exercise-induced bronchoconstriction can't exercise and should be kept out of gym class.
False: If appropriately evaluated and treated, the vast majority of children and adults with asthma or exercise-induced bronchoconstriction can fully participate in exercise. Furthermore, exercise is important for everyone, particularly for children who may grow up to be adults who avoid exercise because of bad experiences as a child.
Question 3
Pick the sport that is least likely to trigger exercise-induced bronchoconstriction:
Distance running
Cross country skiing
Baseball: Sports that involve continuous exercise or cold weather are more likely to trigger symptoms of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. Baseball has neither of these characteristics.
Question 4
Many patients with exercise-induced bronchoconstriction and asthma benefit from a written treatment plan.
True: The written treatment plan, or asthma action plan, is a useful way for a healthcare provider to give detailed instructions about how to treat asthma. Asthma action plans give information about both daily management and how to respond to problems.
Question 5
If my child has asthma, he or she can never be an Olympic or professional athlete.
False: There are numerous examples of world-class athletes -- including runners, swimmers, and football players -- who are able to manage their asthma on a daily basis and still participate at the highest levels of competition. One example is Amy Van Dyken, a world class swimmer who won six Olympic gold medals.
Question 6
Even if I used my short-acting bronchodilator (such as albuterol) before exercise, I can use it again if I begin to have exercise-induced bronchoconstriction.
True: Many people are concerned about the standard prescription: "2 puffs of albuterol before exercise and every 4-6 hours as needed" because they think they can't use their rescue medication again if they need it in less than 4-6 hours. Please review this and all other aspects of your treatment plan with your healthcare provider, but most people should use an extra dose of a short-acting bronchodilator, such as albuterol, if they have symptoms during exercise. However, short-acting bronchodilators may become less effective if they are used too often. Therefore, while it is generally okay, on occasion, to use a rescue medication when you need one, if you need to use it all the time after exercise (even when you have pre-medicated with it before exercise), it is very important to review your treatment plan with your health care provider.
Question 7
If I experience wheezing, coughing, or shortness of breath with exercise, I definitely have exercise-induced bronchoconstriction or asthma.
False: Many people with symptoms such as these do have EIB or asthma, but there are other conditions that masquerade as EIB or asthma. These conditions include heart failure, gastro-esophageal reflux, panic, and vocal-cord dysfunction. This is one of many reasons why it is important to see your health care provider about your symptoms.
Question 8
If a child is generally not active and avoids participating in sports, he or she may have exercise-induced bronchoconstriction or asthma.
True: Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction and asthma can be subtle. Some children with these conditions appear to choose to be inactive, whereas they are actually choosing to avoid triggering bronchoconstriction. Your child's health care provider should be informed that he or she avoids exercise so that he or she can be evaluated.
You answered   questions correctly.

Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction and asthma are common and SHOULD BE EVALUATED. The first step in management is to involve your healthcare provider. There are a variety of effective medications that can be used to control these conditions. In addition to medications, warm-ups and cool-downs may prevent or lessen symptoms. It is also wise to limit exercise when you have a viral infection, temperatures are low, or pollen and air pollution levels are high.


Learn more about asthma symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and management.