Asthma and sport

"These children have higher absenteeism and greater emotional impact. A 23% of children diagnosed with allergic rhinitis do not recognize the symptoms, which leads to lack of treatment and worse evolution".


Bronchial asthma has a clear impact on quality of life and this is aggravated when associated with another allergic pathology such as rhinitis or atopic dermatitis.

Results of the ISAAC study (International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood) and additional questionnaires developed by the ISAAC Pamplona group have allowed us to assess the importance of controlling the asthmatic disease as well as its early diagnosis.

What are the symptoms of an asthma attack?

The characteristic symptoms of an asthma attack occur when the smooth muscle contracts (bronchospasm), causing a narrowing of the airway.

The increased production of mucus contributes to further obstruction of the airway. Night-time coughing and wheezing triggered by exercise are not recognized as a symptom of asthma in 66.6% of adolescents, according to our data.

The presence of cough or wheezing with exercise outside the crisis or exacerbation periods is considered in the current consensus as symptoms of severity of asthma, hence the importance of its diagnosis.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Increased mucus
  • Breathing difficulty (dyspnea).
  • Beeping in the chest (wheezing).
  • Nocturnal coughing.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

You may have exercise-induced asthma

How is asthma caused by sport diagnosed?

<p>Resultados de una prueba de esfuerzo en un ordenador</p>

The early diagnosis of what we know as exercise-induced asthma allows us, in addition to establishing appropriate treatment and patient education guidelines, to convey confidence to young people so that they do not abandon the practice of exercise or sport of their choice.

The diagnosis is made through an effort test consisting of free running on a treadmill, assessing lung function before and after exercise. 

This test is easy to perform in this group of population, since it is a common practice in their activities.

How is asthma treated during exercise?

Pioneers in its diagnostic and therapeutic study

In recent years, treatment of inflammation of the bronchial mucosa has been shown to be the most important part of asthma treatment. There are various medications that have an anti-inflammatory effect on the bronchial mucosa, but the most powerful and effective are inhaled corticosteroids (cortisone).

For immediate treatment, bronchodilators are used, which are usually administered by inhalation. There are two fundamental types according to the duration of their action: the bronchodilators of prolonged action are taken in the morning and at night every day, having or not symptoms; whereas those of short action are usually reserved to take in case of necessity (sensation of drowning, cough, etc). 

In patients in whom an allergic component is demonstrated, treatment with antihistamines may be beneficial.

Where do we treat it?


The Department of Pneumology
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Specializing in smoking and tobacco-related diseases, the Department has over 15 years of experience in smoking cessation and lung cancer early detection programs.

The department's specialists have received training at leading centers around the world, including centers in the United States, and have extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of all respiratory diseases, both common and rare.

Imagen de la fachada de consultas de la sede en Pamplona de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Why at the Clínica?

  • Leading clinical assistance with great work in research and teaching.
  • Specialized nursing team.
  • We work together with the Sleep Unit and the Lung Cancer Area.