Exercise-Induced Asthma Treatment

Call 911 now if the person:

  • Is struggling to breathe
  • Has blue lips
  • Is unable to walk or talk
  • Shows other signs of a severe attack

1. Stop Activity

  • Have the person sit down and rest.

2. Follow the Person’s Asthma Plan, if Possible

  • Find out if the person has an individualized asthma action plan from a doctor.
  • If so, follow its directions.

3. Give Asthma First Aid

4. Resume Activity When Safe

  • Wait until the person can breathe easily and is symptom-free before resuming exercise.
  • If symptoms return when person starts exercise again, repeat treatment and stop exercise for rest of day.

5. Follow Up

  • If symptoms do not improve with treatment, call the person's doctor for advice.

If attack happens at school:

  • Notify school nurse or other designated staff if child does not have asthma medication or symptoms do not go away within five to 10 minutes after using inhaler.
  • Notify the child’s parents.
  • Do not let child leave the gym or play area alone.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar, MD on January 21, 2020



National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “First Aid for Exercise-Induced Asthma" and "How Is Asthma Treated and Controlled?"

Asthma Foundation (Australia): “Exercise-Induced Asthma.”

eMedicineHealth: “Exercise-Induced Asthma.”

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