lung issues in colder air- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    lung issues in colder air

    i feel like such a weenie, but when the temp drops below 45F, i feel like i start wheezing and it can get painful during rides. i do us a balaclava sometimes, but then i feel a little bit suffocated.

    anyway, i had an "episode" today where my breathing took on a high pitched squeal and i felt my windpipe closing up. i had to curl up on the side of the trail, crying, panicking, it was just awful!!! yes, i know panicking is the worst thing you can do, but i was damn scared.

    i've never had asthma as a kid, and i dont know if its true asthma, or just a cold weather thing. nobdoy else in my group is as bad as me. So, is it asthma? its a rare occurrence, so i dont know if its something i should get an inhaler for.

    thanks bubbas.

  2. #2
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    I doubt its asthma but I'm not a doctor. I do get the same thing sometimes, although its usually at colder temps. Seems the airways contract with the intake of frigid air, a balaclava seems to help me largely avoid it, though it does take some getting used too.

  3. #3
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    My daughter gets "exercise induced" asthma. More in colder air.
    It can be scary and become a true medical emergency quickly. A sugar or caffeine blast can help in a pinch.
    Would be worth a deductable to talk to your dr about.


    Sent from my SGH-T989 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
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    I have the same issues my doctor said its called Bronchial Spasms, and is a form of Exercise Induced Asthma(EIA). They can come on in numerous different forms, and there are a ton of different triggers for them. Mine happens to be cold air hitting my lungs, and making it harder for me to breath. An inhaler usually helps me, but I have found that the more you ride in the cold, the better I have become at managing my breathing, and the cold seems to affect me less these days.

  5. #5
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    it doesnt help that i have anxiety, i think that brings it on more, i dont know! but i was having a rotten ride, i was so tired, i dont like my bike (the geometry is not what i want, even after adjustments) so that was putting more strain on me, and last hill climb when i was already on edge is what did it for me. Just wasnt sure if an inhaler would help those episodes. Again, they dont happen that often. was given a steroid daily inhaler a while back because i was getting shortness of breath on occasion, but i dont like using the steroid too much, it gives me a sore throat. Seems like a rescue inhaler makes more sense.

  6. #6
    gran jefe
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    go see a doctor. go see a doctor. go see a doctor. go see a doctor. go see a doctor. go see a doctor. go see a doctor. go see a doctor. go see a doctor. go see a doctor. go see a doctor. go see a doctor. go see a doctor. go see a doctor. go see a doctor. go see a doctor. go see a doctor. go see a doctor.

    I bet it's nothing major, but I definitely don't want for you to bonk like that again. Sounds awful.

  7. #7
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    learn to breathe through your nose. When breathing through the nose the air is warmed before it gets to your bronchi. I would hav this happen when i swam in hs b(though nowhere near as bad as what happened to you) because I swam outdoors in the middle of winter, it would be as cold as 25 deg f during practice and breathing through the nose helped extremely.

  8. #8
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    Try these and see if either is of any benefit:

    1) Halls Mentho-lyptus drops. These will generally make it easier to breathe through the nose.
    2) A dust mask that covers both mouth and nose -- available at Lowe's, Home Depot, and hardware stores. This will help warm the air before it gets into your bronical tube and lungs. The mask will also restrict the airflow some, so take deeper breaths when you are not burning a lot of oxygen in order to keep the blood oxygen level up.

    Neither if these may be of any benefit, but it doesn't cost much to try them.

  9. #9
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    I call it "lung burn." It can happen to me when it's colder and/or I push myself too hard, too early in a ride. Now that someone mentions it, I think breathing cold air through the mouth may be a factor.

    When I get it bad my mouth gets a metallic taste and kind of waters. I cough and have to spit a lot. Weird, I know.

    I first recognized having the issue back in junior high. When I start to feel it coming on I know I have to back off, but I can keep riding. The symptoms usually subside after a half an hour or so.

    Sounds like the OP gets it more severe though. Mine's annoying, but not scary.

  10. #10
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    I mentioned the wheezing and frequent hocking of lugies to my doc, and he gave me a Proventil inhaler for EIA. It helped and I used it up; but never bothered to refill it because my symptoms weren't that bad. In fact they got less severe as I made more of an effort to stay fit through the winter

  11. #11
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    You will likely encounter the symptoms again. Unless it is costly, you ought to consider the refill and keep it handy. It is better to be prepared than regret not being prepared. As you said, "...i felt my windpipe closing up. i had to curl up on the side of the trail, crying, panicking, it was just awful!!!" Relief from anticipatory anxiety is worth something.

    Here is an article for those that want to know more. Exercise-Induced Asthma:
    Exercise-Induced Asthma (EIA) Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis and Prevention by eMedicineHealth.com

  12. #12
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    Not sure if this helps but in extremely cold weather -20*ish while hunting i always use a silk muffler to cover my lower face area and it really helps warm the air before it reaches my throat

    And when playing football back in hschool the coach always told us to breathe 3 times thru the nose for every breath thru the mouth so you dont force the cold air directly into your lungs

    And in alaska ive heard stories while i was there of runners who's lungs froze while running because they didnt have some sort of muffler and the symptoms are exactly like a severe asthma attack

  13. #13
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    I have the same problem, discovered it a few years ago snowboarding around 11,000 feet and miles from medical care. I grew up in a family with a number of siblings and was able to recognize it pretty quickly, stay calm (very hard to do when you can't friggin breathe) and took measures to alleviate the symptoms (steamy environment, caffeine).

    When I finally got to see my doctor he prescribed an albuterol sulfate inhaler for me, which has worked well. I just have to remember to take it before exercise in cold weather. It still works if I take it during an attack, just not as well. My asthma is different from my siblings in that I begin to violently cough before wheezing and airway constriction. It's also gotten worse (doesn't take as cold of temps to set it off). Best bet is definitely talk to a physician and find out what you can do to prevent the attacks.

  14. #14
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    See your doctor. Ditto that it sounds like exercise-induced asthma. It is more important to warm up in the cold weather as well.

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