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  1. #1
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    cold air excercised induced asthma

    When the temps get into the 30's and the air is dry, I suffer from cold air excercised induced asthma. after a short time I get so fatigued it feels like my body is shutting down.
    Anyone have any tips for cold temps riding?
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  2. #2
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    I suffer from the same. An inhaler works for me sometimes. If you can find some way to warm the air prior, that will help.

  3. #3
    gran jefe
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    would a face mask of some kind help warm the air up? i realized you would rebreathe some of the air, but unless you are at max effort, that shouldnt be toooo big of a problem.

  4. #4
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    An inhaler works for me during the warmer months, when my EIA is more pollen/mold related, but in the winter months, it doesn't do anything for me. The only thing I've found that helps at all is what Bill suggested: wear a balaclava or scarf or something so that I'm breathing in warm air instead of cold air.

  5. #5
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    I suffer the same. All good advice above. What works for me is a huff on the inhaler before starting out, then a long gentle warm-up - as much as several miles or a half hour before pushing too hard. If I push too hard too soon, I'm done, and nothing I do will allow me to recover.
    'Bones

  6. #6
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    I wear a thin buff around my neck that I pull up over my mouth and nose. It's thin enough that it doesn't restrict air flow too badly, and once I'm warmed up I don't seem to need it. I've also used a face mask with openings for breathing. Works well, and doesn't seem to build up as much moisture, but it's mostly over kill for temps in my area.

  7. #7
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    I've tried the masked, but they build up a tremendous amount of moisture and are wet for the rest of the ride. Maybe I should try it just during the warmup period. One of my trails has a nice long, 2 mile flat curvey section for a good warmup. Other trails are like being shot out of a cannon. I gave up on those.
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  8. #8
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    I read that a menthol cough drop will take care of it
    NOt sure why but while I used to get it alot, it went away on its own and I rarley get it now

  9. #9
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    My Dad is a doctor and a runner, both he and i get what he describes as Wheezing in cold weather. What he did was take an expectorant type pill about 20 minutes before a run or event. I recently remembered this and went to the store and talked with a pharmicist who agreed. I bought a small generic thing of pills called mucus relief expectorant. Helps to open up the airways before hand. Alot of times though I just deal with it and chalk it up as something that i live with. Also I have done the mask over my face to breath warm air and that seemed to work. My exercise enduced asthma was really terrible when I first got into running, but progressively has gone away the fitter I got.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan0 View Post
    I read that a menthol cough drop will take care of it
    NOt sure why but while I used to get it alot, it went away on its own and I rarley get it now
    I tried this on this week's ride. It was 43 degrees. With a 20 minute, flat trail warmup and the coughdrop, I was able to ride for 2 and a half hours. Could be a fluke, but tomorrow will be in the 40's again and I'll give it a try again.
    I've given up on riding in the 30's
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by barrelquest View Post
    My Dad is a doctor and a runner, both he and i get what he describes as Wheezing in cold weather. What he did was take an expectorant type pill about 20 minutes before a run or event. I recently remembered this and went to the store and talked with a pharmicist who agreed. I bought a small generic thing of pills called mucus relief expectorant. Helps to open up the airways before hand. Alot of times though I just deal with it and chalk it up as something that i live with. Also I have done the mask over my face to breath warm air and that seemed to work. My exercise enduced asthma was really terrible when I first got into running, but progressively has gone away the fitter I got.
    So taking some guaifenesin beforehand might work?

    I might have to give it a try...

    EIA makes riding a recreational hobby for me... I'd love to race, I don't know if my lungs can handle it.

  12. #12
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    I did ride in the 30's yesterday....

    forgot to mention, there is a theory of "too much oxygen" and "not enough carbon dioxide".

    So, when we're gasping for air during an attack, that's actually making it worse.

    Forcing yourself to slow down the breathing does seem to help. Also means for me, I can't pedal as hard and skipping some of the fun stuff, like jumping logs.

  13. #13
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    I had a real bad problem 6 or 7 years ago
    now its gone, so there is hope. I didnt do anything in particular, just the menthol cough drop trick. it gradually got better and better

  14. #14
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    "
    So taking some guaifenesin beforehand might work?"


    Yeah, I just went and looked at the pills I bought, and they are 100% guaifenesin.

    Yesterday I went on my usual 5 mile xc run and it was the coldest yet of the year here, in the 30's during the run. I remembered this thread and decided to take one, I was able to post a pretty good time, 47:00 minutes (my record is 44) and only at the end did i slightly begin a bit of wheezing. Of course I was going all out the last 200-300 yards or so.

  15. #15
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    fitness or weight and body composition?

    Quote Originally Posted by barrelquest View Post
    ...My exercise enduced asthma was really terrible when I first got into running, but progressively has gone away the fitter I got.
    As you got fitter were you also losing weight? I used to get asthma on cold mornings but it went away after I either lost weight or got fitter. I think it was the weight though. 10 years ago I lost 50 pounds and had no more issues with asthma. After a recent injury (actually a series of injuries, when it rains it pours) I gained 25 pounds in only a month and a half, so I did not lose any appreciable fitness. I just did not match my much lower activity level that was due to my injuries with the amount of food that I could eat and maintain a steady weight at that activity level.

    Anyway, my asthma came back bad. It scared the #$%@# out of me. I thought it might be related to the weight gain so I knocked 15 pounds off in two weeks and the rest in another month. Anyway, as soon as I lost the weight, no more problem with asthma.

    Because of my injuries I have been going to the doctor pretty regularly and I talked to him about the asthma and weight gain and loss. He had never heard of any theory that would indicate that weight loss would affect asthma and was very skeptical. I don't know how well read he is about asthma, and I certainly am pretty ignorant about it, but it was interesting that it came and went in such a short time when my weight changed but my fitness and strength did not materially change.

  16. #16
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    fleece buff and an albuterol inhaler, and I dont ride if the air temp is below freezing

  17. #17
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    Yeah I had the same problem I live on the gulf coast so it usually only effects me for about a month. But my doctor got me an inhaler.

    And I don't have allergies or any other breathing problems.
    RideSAMBA.com Mountain Biking in South Alabama.

  18. #18
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    To echo a few others:
    Warm up with breathing exercises. Think yoga type deep breathing with full exhales. Exhale until you feel like you might pass out (careful if driving to trail).
    Use a peak flow meter to accurately gauge your capacity before ride starts.
    Take albuterol before the ride, two puffs, full exhales before inhalation.
    Use HRM and note when a certain effort level triggers asthma.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adroit Rider View Post
    To echo a few others:
    Warm up with breathing exercises. Think yoga type deep breathing with full exhales. Exhale until you feel like you might pass out (careful if driving to trail).
    Use a peak flow meter to accurately gauge your capacity before ride starts.
    Take albuterol before the ride, two puffs, full exhales before inhalation.
    Use HRM and note when a certain effort level triggers asthma.
    What is a Peak Flow Meter?
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  20. #20
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    A peak flow meter is a gauge designed to help you communicate with your medical care professional. An asthma attack is subjective and hard to explain. The peak flow meter establishes a healthy reading when your breathing is efficient and provides a diagnostic measurement when an attack occurs.

    If you have asthma, you should have a peak flow meter.

    It measures the volume and force of your exhale.

  21. #21
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    I have EIA and I use a mask that warm up the air through a filter. I've been training in -30C with it and it works great. The air feels a lot warmer.

    Link: airtrim.se/eng/default.asp

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mood View Post
    I have EIA and I use a mask that warm up the air through a filter. I've been training in -30C with it and it works great. The air feels a lot warmer.

    Link: airtrim.se/eng/default.asp
    Can you give more details or brand of the mask?
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  23. #23
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    Check the link (Airtrim breathingfilter asthma sport cold airways or Vapro Produktutveckling AB). It's called airtrim and the mask is made from some kind of soft plastic and covers your mouth and nose. You can have different filters to switch between depending on how cold it is. The swedish national team in xc skiing use them when training in cold conditions.

    If you're interested you should send an email to info@vapro.se - They should have a retailer in the us according to their hompage.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mudmouse View Post
    I wear a thin buff around my neck that I pull up over my mouth and nose. It's thin enough that it doesn't restrict air flow too badly, and once I'm warmed up I don't seem to need it. I've also used a face mask with openings for breathing. Works well, and doesn't seem to build up as much moisture, but it's mostly over kill for temps in my area.
    +1 on the buff, you could try enbrocation as well. and i find ginger infused hot drinks help open up the tubes a bit

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by thecanoe View Post
    When the temps get into the 30's and the air is dry, I suffer from cold air excercised induced asthma. after a short time I get so fatigued it feels like my body is shutting down.
    Anyone have any tips for cold temps riding?
    I had a similar issue when I was playing football in this type of weather. Have you tried supplements of Garlic. Garlic naturally buildings up the cardiovascular system. After I used 1000mg Garlic pills daily I noticed my breathing in cold weather improved.

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