Skip to content

    Asthma Health Center

    Select An Article

    Unusual Asthma Symptoms

    (continued)
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Asthma and Other Allergic Reactions

    Inhaled mold spores and particles from bird droppings and feathers (such as from parrots) can cause allergic reactions in the airways and lungs. For example, when the fungus Aspergillus causes an allergic reaction in the airways, the condition is called allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis. Affected individuals usually have asthma. Treatment involves opening the airways with bronchodilators and decreasing inflammation with steroids over a prolonged period of time. When the lung tissues develop an allergic reaction to inhaled bacteria, fungi, or bird particles, the condition is called hypersensitivity pneumonitis. This condition is differentiated from acute asthma by the lack of wheezing, the presence of a fever, and the pattern of pneumonia on the chest X-ray. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is treated by avoiding the allergens and taking steroids.

    Exercise-Induced Asthma

    Exercise is a common trigger for asthma and may cause symptoms such as chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing in 80% to 90% of people with asthma. The asthma symptoms usually start about 10 minutes into the exercise or 5 to 10 minutes after completing the activity, although some people experience symptoms about four to eight hours after exercise. Exercise-induced asthma may affect all ages, but it's most common in kids with childhood asthma and young adults. All athletes, from weekend warriors to professionals and Olympians, can be affected by exercise-induced asthma.

    For most asthma patients, exercise-induced asthma is treatable and preventable, allowing children and adults with asthma to fully participate in sports and exercise. Regular exercise is beneficial for the heart, circulatory system, muscles (including breathing muscles), and mental health. However, regular exercise is not a cure for asthma.

    Exercise-induced asthma is diagnosed by a pattern of asthmatic symptoms prompted by exercise. When the diagnosis is unclear, it can be confirmed in a doctor's office by performing breathing tests at rest and after exercise.

    Health Conditions That May Worsen Asthma

    Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

    GERD is a common condition caused by the regurgitation (reflux) or backwash of stomach acid into the esophagus from the stomach. At times, the acid even may regurgitate into the back of the throat and reach the lungs. GERD usually -- but not always -- is associated with a burning discomfort under the breastbone, called heartburn, which occurs mostly after meals or when lying down. In some people the symptom of acid reflux is not heartburn. Instead, they experience coughing, wheezing, hoarseness, or sore throat.

    Next Article:

    When Is Your Asthma Worse?

    When Is Your Asthma Worse?

    Take the WebMD Asthma assessment to get Personalized Action Plan

    Start Now

    Today on WebMD

    Lung and bronchial tube graphic
    5 common triggers.
    group jogging in park
    Should you avoid fitness activities?
     
    asthma inhaler
    Learn about your options.
    man feeling faint
    What’s the difference?
     
    Madison Wisconsin Capitol
    Slideshow
    woman wearing cpap mask
    Article
     
    red wine pouring into glass
    Slideshow
    Woman holding inhaler
    Quiz
     
    Man outdoors coughing
    Article
    Lung and bronchial tube graphic
    Article
     
    10 Worst Asthma Cities
    Slideshow
    runner
    Article