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What is asthma?
Asthma is a respiratory problem where air flow becomes inhibited (or restricted) at the level of the bronchioles in the bronchiole tree. Certain triggers (see below) cause the bronchiole muscles to contract and the lining to swell (inflammation), resulting in a restricted air passageway.

Triggers of asthma include house dust, animal allergens (fur), tobacco, pollen, smoke, furnace air, colds and viral infections.

Exercise-Induced Asthma or EIA
With exercise-induced asthma (EIA) there is NO inflammation (with this respiratory problem). With EIA there is just muscle constraction that restricts the air passageway in the bronchioles.

When does exercise-induced asthma usually occur?
In most people, EIA usually peaks about 5 to 10 minutes into recovery.

What is the theory explaining EIA?
The theory explaining EIA is referred to as the Cool air to Warm 'Tissue' Theory. Essentially, during the recovery from aerobic exercise the air passage through the trachea is slower, but the mouth is often still open for plenty of air to enter efficiently (for recovery). With the mouth still open, there is no WARMING of the air (as what happens through the nose) as it goes down the trachea. As the cool air travels past the ‘warming tissues’ of the trachea the change in temperature causes some of the bronchioles to constrict—restricting air passage—this is EIA.We see EIA in people who participate in winter sports.

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