Exercise Induced Asthma

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Exercise Induced Asthma

"Asthma is a pulmonary disease with the following characteristics: 1) airway obstruction that is reversible in most patients either spontaneously or with treatment; 2) airway inflammation; and 3) increased airway responsiveness to a variety of stimuli" (Enright, 1996, p. 375). There presently exist many varieties of asthma that differ in the severity, means of induction, and methods of treatment. One type is exercise-induced asthma. "Exercise-induced asthma (EIA) is a temporary increase in airway resistance and acute narrowing of the airway that occurs after several minutes of strenuous exercise, usually after the exercise had ceased" (Spector, 1993, p. 571). Perfectly healthy individuals with no history of asthma or allergies can experience EIA. EIA can be found in 5.6%-25% of the general population and in 40%-90% of asthmatics (Randolph, 1997). EIA has been recognized for over 300 years, but only recently have it's pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment been studied in detail.

EIA was discovered as early as the first century AD when it was observed by Aretaeus the Cappadocian that "if from running, gymnastic exercises, or any other work, the breathing becomes difficult, it is called Asthma" (Randolph, 1997, p. 54). After that, no further research or emphasis was placed on EIA until 1698 when Sir John Floyer, an asthma sufferer, wrote the Treatise on Asthma in which he reported the first delineation of asthmogenic activities. In 1864 Salter recognized that EIA was exacerbated by cold air, and in 1962 Jones determined the pattern of bronchodilation followed by bronchoconstriction that is characteristic of EIA. Such strokes stimulated additional research, and in 1984 and...

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