Asthma is the most common cause of exercise-induced shortness of breath in children and adolescents. While a diagnosis of asthma is often correct, University of Iowa pediatric pulmonary physicians caution that other unrelated conditions also can cause shortness of breath during exercise.
In cases where the asthma diagnosis is questionable, the UI experts recommend further testing to identify the true cause of exercise-induced shortness of breath. "Asthma usually responds well to treatment, and people with asthma who are well treated can have normal exercise tolerance," said Miles Weinberger, M.D., professor of pediatrics in the UI Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and director of the Pediatric Allergy and Pulmonary Division at Childrens Hospital of Iowa. "However, if the asthma medication doesnt work and the patient has normal lung function when measured before exercise, it is probably not asthma.
"If a patient is not responding to the simplest measure, such as use of a bronchodilator inhaler, and there are no other asthmatic symptoms, the exercise-induced shortness of breath, also known as dyspnea, requires further detailed evaluation," he added.
Jennifer Brown | EurekAlert!
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