Asthma Management Handbook

Exercise and asthma

Overview

People with asthma can and should participate in physical activity. For adults or children involved in competitive sport, prescribers need to check which asthma medicines are permitted in the sport.

Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction can develop in people who do not have a history of known asthma, and can be the only or predominant symptom of asthma.

The diagnosis of exercise-induced bronchoconstriction is based on spirometric demonstration of abnormal reduction in lung function after exercise or a surrogate for exercise (defined as a fall in FEV1 of at least 10% in adults or at least 13% in children).

Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction can be managed effectively with relievers and preventers (or both) and should not stop people with asthma participating in physical activity, including competitive sport.

In elite athletes, the regulations of sporting governing bodies must be considered when investigating suspected asthma or prescribing asthma medicines.

Table. Managing persistent exercise-induced respiratory symptoms in adults and adolescents Opens in a new window Please view and print this figure separately: https://www.asthmahandbook.org.au/table/show/85

Table. Managing persistent exercise-induced respiratory symptoms in children Opens in a new window Please view and print this figure separately: https://www.asthmahandbook.org.au/table/show/84

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