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  1. #1
    Got My Vans On Mattrek's Avatar
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    Do you have Asthma?

    I recently had a lung infection combined with a bad case of Bronchitis and because of it my doctor said that I have developed Asthma (over time, not just within the last week) and I was wondering if anyone had any tips for me for riding with asthma. I played basketball yesterday and almost had an attack just doing that, I guess I am just not used to it yet, but I would like some tips.

  2. #2
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    I've was diagnosed with it from birth (1951), I've worn out my ankles playing hoops, do investigational med studies for asthma meds, scared new dr's there when I have to withhold all meds pre study cause my #'s are so low. So your asthma is like your bike, you didn't just jump on one & ride it. There are different meds & they work differently for different people. Not to mention different doses. They have to be adjusted to fit you. Also the obvious advise, follow the directions. & use that albuterol before you start to excersice (provided its been prescribed for you)

  3. #3
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I have mild asthma, and my attacks are mild and pretty rare, so the trick for me is to detect an attack early. When I do, a dose of Albuterol does the trick pretty well. Also keeping up to date on the Flovent is nice.

    In addition, if you have any issues with nasal congestion, it is always good to keep on top of that to keep your passages as clear as possible. I like using a neti pot (although I haven't developed it into a regular habit yet) as it helps to keep my nasal passages clear. It seems to also help with my lungs, maybe just psychological, but I wonder if it does really help keep some mucus from migrating to my lungs.

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    Senior Member VA_Esquire's Avatar
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    I have to take my inhaler with me at all times just to stop myself from dying, but I always have to start every ride with a quick 2-puff.

  5. #5
    Senior Member cod.peace's Avatar
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    I've had asthma since I was 5 or 6. I've found the #1 best therapy for it is to be cardiovascularly fit, and to make sure you get outdoor exercise year round so you're acclimated to the temperature. Sudden temp changes can trigger asthma for me, especially going from a hot building to winter air, unless I've been getting exercise outside. I also have some vague memory that spicy foods help asthma, but don't quote me on that.

    Another other great thing you can do is learn to play a wind instrument. It's your excuse to learn to play saxophone at last!
    old steel Specialized Hardrock

  6. #6
    Senior Member landrover's Avatar
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    I have what our "family doctor" (this was in the 1970s) called "sports induced" asthma.....over-exertion during exercise....This was diagnosed when i was 15...He put me on pills but quickly decided against it.

    He ended up telling me to just stop my activity whenever i felt my chest starting to tighten up.
    Asthma didn't stop me from playing any outdoor activity.
    I am now 48 and my current doctor prescribed an inhaler...just in case.

  7. #7
    Senior Member adrien's Avatar
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    I've had it since i was a child. When I was young (1970s) it was crippling and life-threatening, and I have vivd memories of not being able to catch my breath, nightmares of drowning etc.

    As I aged, I learned both to live with it and train around it. Now it manifests iteslef mostly as allergies, a heightened sensitivity to temperature changes and a need to be very, very careful when i get a cold as it can quickly turn into pneumonia.

    As others have said, it's like many things in that knowing you have it is the critical first step. You can learn to manage and forestall the worst of the symptoms.

    Right up until i was in my late 20s, I was taking regular medications for it. With an allegist's help and with careful training, I weaned myself off the drugs. Now I only need them if I'm sick, if there are acute allergens in the environment or if it's especially cold. It got a lot better as I got fitter and more lean; I suspect it would re-emerge if I gained much weight.

    For me, it has become a condition to manage -- no more, no less.
    "how do you know you can't swim until you have drowned?"

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    Been diagnosed since age 8. Since age 16, I've had 1 attack, and I'm now 31. My asthma is largely controllable by hydration. Good thing too, since I'm one of the unfortunates who can't have albuterol. I start showing side effects and overdose symptoms somewhere around half a normal dose. On the bright side, my trigger list is very short and even my worst attacks are very mild. On the really down side, my trigger list starts with bronchitis and pneumonia... Both make monitoring asthma pretty nightmarish, and the average doctor just doesn't handle it well.

    From experience, while you're getting your list of triggers straight, it's a good idea to get a flu shot. Pneumonia is a common flu complication, and it's just not something you need or want to deal with until your asthma is under control.

    It's also a good idea to check out particulate pollution counts in your area. It is a common trigger, and it can mimic exercise induced asthma. And don't be surprised if it turns out you have a weird trigger or two... just about anything can trigger asthma, and the weird ones tend to be pretty easy to manage.

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    I've had chronic asthma since the age of 15, when I caught pneumonia. Over the years, I was on various meds ranging from theophylline to albuterol, and during acute attacks would have to resort to prednisone, as it was the only med that brought my inflammation down. Nowadays, I'm on preventative meds only (Advair & Singulair)...and haven't needed to use a rescue inhaler in a very long time. Definitely talk to your doctor about preventative meds and ask if they would be a good option for you. Having my asthma totally under control gives me such a sense of "freedom" to do whatever I want, without worrying if I'm going to have an attack.

  10. #10
    Not safe for work cyclokitty's Avatar
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    I've had asthma since I was about 14. My attacks are usually triggered by cold weather and bad allergies (unfortunately cats). I use an inhaler very rarely, and my asthma has improved since I started cycling.

    I notice whenever I start sneezing I'm also thirsty. I found keeping hydrated also has cut the number of attacks.


  11. #11
    Senior Member jboyd's Avatar
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    I don't, to my knowledge have asthma, but this summer I had pneumonia (second time in life). I was down, literally for 8 weeks. I couldn't walk from my home office to the kitchen without feeling like I was going down.

    I used the albuteroll and inhaled steriod several times a day. When I thought I was getting better, I started to ride again and getting back into the saddle was very slow. I am now back to riding 25-35 rides in the hills. There was a time I wondered if I would ever get back. I think you have to listen to your body and only go until you sense the need to shut down.

    Good luck to you. Some may disagree, but you can not fool your "real" health. I understand how disheartening it would be if could not ride anymore, but I would choose physical stability over my desire to do what I enjoy. I would just find a replacement within my ability.

    Good luck to you.

    Jay
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  12. #12
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    I've had it since I was a kid, but like most people, I learned to deal with it. I've only had one major attack in my adult life, and that wouldn't have happened if I hadn't been doing something stupid to impress a girl.

    There's a lot of great advice in this thread, there's only one thing I would add to it. Buy a good air purifier, none of that ionic crap, either. The ozone produced by those actually destroys lung tissue. Look for reviews on an asthma & allergy site to get a good picture of what kind you need. Then turn it on every night before bed, and remember to clean or replace the filters as recommended.

    P.S. "Don't Panic!" Douglas Adams' advice is particularly suited to asthmatics. May he rest in peace.
    "I am. How you say? Russian guy-o-vitch. I am exchange henchman from Russian supervillain."

  13. #13
    Senior Member jboyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonofsocal View Post
    There's a lot of great advice in this thread, there's only one thing I would add to it. Buy a good air purifier, none of that ionic crap, either. The ozone produced by those actually destroys lung tissue. Look for reviews on an asthma & allergy site to get a good picture of what kind you need. Then turn it on every night before bed, and remember to clean or replace the filters as recommended.
    I am glad you brought that up. I left it out of my response so that I would not sound like a commercial, but that is one of the product groups that i represent. And, near the end of my pneumonia summer, I installed a 5" merv8 high efficiency media filter and two of these UV lights in my air handler and my wife and I are stunned at the difference it has made for us. We recently had guests that have stayed with us before and who suffer from allergies and they commented how "fresh" our air seemed, and this was before we told them about the improvements.

    simonofsocal is spot on. Good advice.

    Good Luck
    Jay
    http://www.homeairdirect.com Hey! It's What I Do

  14. #14
    Senior Member DanteB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VA_Esquire View Post
    I have to take my inhaler with me at all times just to stop myself from dying, but I always have to start every ride with a quick 2-puff.
    Do you use a spacer? Do you take both puffs one right after another?
    Make mine a double!

  15. #15
    Senior Member DanteB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattrek View Post
    I recently had a lung infection combined with a bad case of Bronchitis and because of it my doctor said that I have developed Asthma (over time, not just within the last week) and I was wondering if anyone had any tips for me for riding with asthma. I played basketball yesterday and almost had an attack just doing that, I guess I am just not used to it yet, but I would like some tips.
    Did your Doc give you any meds, MDI (meter dose inhaler) and/or dry powder, controller and/or rescue?
    Make mine a double!

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    Quote Originally Posted by simonofsocal View Post
    "Don't Panic!" Douglas Adams' advice is particularly suited to asthmatics. May he rest in peace.
    +1

    My sister triggers off emotional stress. Panic *will* give her an attack. (so will a lot of other things) Staying calm and focusing on other things means her medications work faster. When she was tiny, it was very hard on her, because panic is a natural response to having trouble breathing... and it just made breathing even harder.

    It's a relatively common trigger, but it does sound weird .

  17. #17
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonofsocal View Post
    I've had it since I was a kid, but like most people, I learned to deal with it. I've only had one major attack in my adult life, and that wouldn't have happened if I hadn't been doing something stupid to impress a girl.
    You just gotta explain that one......

  18. #18
    Senior Member DanteB's Avatar
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    Panic………because you can’t breathe, what are you talking about? Let’s see “when you can’t breathe, nothing else matters”. Try this if you want to know what it is like to have an asthma attack and see if you have a little panic. Take one of the small red cocktail straws and put it in your mouth and seal your lips around it. Clamp your nose and breathe through the straw, don’t cheat and take some air in through your nose or mouth. Just stand there and breathe through the straw. Not bad you can do it, maybe a little trouble. Ok, now walk or jog in place, again don’t cheat breathe through the straw. Having trouble? Ah, you just have simulated an asthma attack, the only thing you can take the straw out of your mouth and gasp for air the asthmatic can’t. Now hopefully the asthmatic has his/her rescue inhaler with them so they can take their medicine, more than likely Albuterol or Xopenex, and take the straw out of their mouth.

    Asthma is a manageable disease with the proper meds and education. You can live a normal life and ride bikes with asthma. Just remember, you should always have your rescue inhaler with you, it’s the only thing that will open your airways and save your life if you have a full blown asthma attack.
    Last edited by DanteB; 11-12-08 at 04:27 PM.
    Make mine a double!

  19. #19
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    I developed asthma as a kid but it never stopped me from playing sports through school and into adulthood. The key for my asthma management came when I was first prescribed albuterol inhalant. My asthma was diagnosed as "exercise induced" so my inhaler prescription called for two puffs, two minutes apart, two minutes (or more) before activity. I managed to play soccer, hockey, run track, rugby, and do all my training with this tool. My present doctor believes my asthma is so well-managed with albuterol that he has declined to prescribe any of the "one-a-day" treatments like singulair.

  20. #20
    "Purgatory Central" Wino Ryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanteB View Post
    [FONT=Times New Roman][SIZE=3]Panic………because you can’t breathe, what are you talking about? Let’s see “when you can’t breathe, nothing else matters”. Try this if you want to know what it is like to have an asthma attack and see if you have a little panic. Take one of the small red cocktail straws and put it in your mouth and seal your lips around it. Clamp your nose and breathe through the straw,



    Congratulations,....you just scared the crap outta me.

    But it was an excellent example. I dont have asthma, and never did, but I did have heart surgery back in '97 where they took me off the 'heart/lung machine' and made me breathe on my own. What you described is remarkably 'spot on'. For three days I laid on my back in an IC ward trying to breathe just like you described. It was the most terrifying three days of my life. They had me pumped up with large doses of xannax and whatever else they could find just tp keep me from freaking the f'ck out. It was very very hard on me and I still shudder to think about it.

    I guess I've had a 'taste' of what you've described.
    ~ "I like the way the brake cables come out of the top of the levers and loop around to the brake calipers!...I like those downtube shifters too!...No no no, don't take 'em off, don't take 'em off,...leave 'em on, leave 'em on! - Thats right baby!!

    ~BF - Steel Club Member #00051

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    I've had cold and exercise induced asthma since I was very young. Fortunately my attacks are rare and not too significant, usually just coughing that I have trouble controlling. So I do not have medications.

    I find that when I have an exercise induced attack, if I slow down and concentrate on breathing slowly, the attack goes away. YOu might give that a try, but keep the medications handy anyway.

  22. #22
    Change=inevitable. ?=+/- JosephPaul86's Avatar
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    You'll learn your limits, and its does suck. I have had asthma my entire life and I have been on prescription bronchial dilators, cortical steroids and albuterol.

    There was a period when i was 13-15 years old that I was so healthy and active that I actually dropped all meds and was racing amateur BMX. Then we moved from Colorado to Texas and i got my first car.

    My triggers are Exercise, Cold temps and Allergies. I carry a rescue inhaler with me at all times...in fact most of my jeans have wear marks from it riding in my pocket.
    "And that's how the cookie crumbles."

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by cod.peace View Post
    I've had asthma since I was 5 or 6. I've found the #1 best therapy for it is to be cardiovascularly fit, and to make sure you get outdoor exercise year round so you're acclimated to the temperature. Sudden temp changes can trigger asthma for me, especially going from a hot building to winter air, unless I've been getting exercise outside. I also have some vague memory that spicy foods help asthma, but don't quote me on that.

    Another other great thing you can do is learn to play a wind instrument. It's your excuse to learn to play saxophone at last!
    +1 cold weather does it to a lot of my friends that have asthma but are ok for the rest of the year, kinda strange IMO, I've also experienced this when getting over a lunge infection but that doesn't really count as asthma.
    DISCLAIMER: I cannot be held responsible for any offense taken. Should you have taken offense to my comment my lawers will be in touch. Said lawers are most often seen flying disk shaped vehicles accompanied by men in tin foil hats. Should this DISCLAIMER offend you, you are hereby declared a lost cause and the men in tin foil hats will be in touch.

  24. #24
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    My asthma is mild but usually gets triggered by allergies... and sometimes maybe cold weather. Yesterday I couldn't quite recover from O2 debt after small climbs and just had to chug along slowly until we took a break... then two good puffs of my albuterol and I was fine. Then sometimes I can go for weeks and forget I ever had any symptoms. Most rides don't trigger any symptoms at all for me.

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by billydonn View Post
    My asthma is mild but usually gets triggered by allergies... and sometimes maybe cold weather. Yesterday I couldn't quite recover from O2 debt after small climbs and just had to chug along slowly until we took a break... then two good puffs of my albuterol and I was fine. Then sometimes I can go for weeks and forget I ever had any symptoms. Most rides don't trigger any symptoms at all for me.
    That's pretty much the same as mine. I'm finding the colder weather is causing me many more problems than the exercise induced part at the moment

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