What causes shortness of breath during cycling?

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Shortness of breath can occur in some individuals while cycling. Aerobic exercise and cycling can provide various health benefits but also causes shortness of breath. When an individual experiences the symptom, it is vital to set an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible.

Signs and symptoms

Some individuals experience symptoms just a few minutes while exercising while others have symptoms after working out and some occur during activity. The shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing as well as fatigue, chest tightness and poor performance are the usual symptoms of breathing issues.

Exercising during dry or cold weather, being exposed to air pollutants, being out of shape and suffering from respiratory infections can also trigger symptoms. Always bear in mind that the symptoms is more than just the feeling of overexertion or attempting to catch the breath after engaging in physical activity. These might be an indicator of exercise-induced asthma or other serious heart or lung issues.

Exercise-induced asthma

shortness of breath
When it comes to exercise-induced asthma, it can affect anyone. The condition develops once the bronchi or small passages that transport air into the lungs, contract and end up filled with mucus.

When it comes to exercise-induced asthma, it can affect anyone. The condition develops once the bronchi or small passages that transport air into the lungs, contract and end up filled with mucus. Generally, the contraction manifests as an outcome of irritation, presence of a foreign substance or once an allergen annoys the lungs. In this form of asthma, physical exertion is the trigger.

Other possible underlying causes

Even though exercise-induced asthma is the usual cause of shortness of breath while exercising, there are other health conditions and factors that can lead to shortness of breath while cycling.

Poor physical condition might be a cause as the body adjusts to the new physical demands. In such cases, it is recommended to slowly increase the intensity and duration.

If cold is suspected to trigger the breathing difficulties, it is best to consider indoor cycling using a stationary trainer to check if it helps breathe easier. If the individual still experiences symptoms, it is best to consult a doctor to rule out a possible lung or heart condition including heart disease or angina that might be the root cause. The shortness of breath might also be a side effect of certain medications or due to allergies.

Management

Once an individual experiences the symptoms, the doctor will initially perform tests to check how well the lungs work. The individual will also test the individual for allergies. If asthma is suspected, the attacks can be dangerous or result to permanent constriction of the airway if not promptly treated.

The usual treatment for asthma involves the use of an inhaler that can be used before exercise to help open up the passageways to make it easier to breathe. If the inhaler could not control the symptoms or the attacks occur during inactivity, the doctor might prescribe daily long-term medications to reduce the symptoms.

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