With sports all over Wisconsin getting started - from pros to high school - it is an important time to make sure the athlete in your life has their asthma in check. Sometimes that means thinking about our sporting events differently. Some of Wisconsin's best athletes are dealing with the struggles of asthma. Take a look at Eddie Lacy from the Green Bay Packers.
"You know your body is good enough to go out and play," said Lacy. "But ... you just can't breathe. And it's a breathing thing. It's not something you want to go out and risk...risk something bad happening. There's nothing I can do about it. It's a medical condition. I take my inhaler, I do everything I'm supposed to do. When it happens, it happens."
Even when you do everything you are supposed to, it can be hard because sometimes it just happens. That is why it is important that you do everything you can to take extra precaution when participating in sports or activities.
- Make sure to take advantage of warm-ups and cool-downs to give your lungs the time they need to prepare and rest from activities.
- Do your best to avoid triggers and keep track of pollen counts if your sport is outside.
- It is also crucial to listen to the recommendations given by your doctor on the appropriate times to use your inhaler. Don't wait until it is too late.
Here is some information by the Asthma Initiative of Michigan for Healthy Lungs:
Which sport or activity is best for you?
Here at the Allergy, Asthma & Sinus Center - we do everything in our power to keep your asthma from limiting you in the activities in which you can participate. In order to participate in any activity, it is important that you have your asthma in control and that you have an Asthma Action Plan in place. However, we know that asthma can play a big part in how we are able to participate in activities, so there are extra considerations to keep in mind when selecting a sport or activity:
Season/Location: Does your asthma change with the different seasons? Keeping those environmental triggers in mind - is it harder to breathe in colder/hotter weather, is it harder to breathe in the rain/snow, is the pollen in the air affecting my performance? These questions aren't there to say you shouldn't participate in your activity - but to remind you to take extra precaution if those things affect how you play. "For example, swimming is frequently a great choice because the added moisture in the air at the pool soothes inflamed lungs. On the other hand, some people have asthma that is triggered by chlorine."
Time Outs: Every activity has different rules and guidelines on "rest time." Sometimes people with asthma do better if there are specific rest times set aside. Make sure that if you are looking to do a sport like soccer that includes a lot of constant running, that you are able to access your inhaler if need be. Or if you are playing a sport with constant running, think outside the box and look for those positions where you can still be part of the team but doesn't require as much running (like goalie).
It is good to remember all of the different factors that can affect your asthma while participating in a sport or activity. And, if you are a part of a team, make sure you share your Asthma Action Plan with the coach so they know what to do in case of an emergency. If you want to schedule an appointment with our asthma educator or talk to one of our doctors, please call 414-529-8500. The Allergy, Asthma & Sinus Center is here to help you feel in control of your asthma!
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Asthma Initiative of Michigan for Healthy Lungs