In The News: Asthma

Female Athlete with Vocal Cord Dysfunction VCD

Vocal Cord Dysfunction – A Very Common and Often Misdiagnosed Condition

Katie is a 16-year-old high school student who is a very good soccer player. She is currently playing on her high school team and a traveling squad of All-Stars. In the last 6 months, Katie has begun having excessive shortness of breath with wheezing while playing soccer. Symptoms are worse when she is playing a match but she also notes similar symptoms during practice. She has had one recent episode which was sufficiently severe and caused her to faint. Katie has seen her family physician and he has suggested that she may have exercise – induced bronchospasm (EIB). She has tried treating with inhaler prior to exercise however this medication has been ineffective and the symptoms continue.

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Can’t Catch Your Breath During Your Workout?

Did you know that over 25 million Americans suffer from asthma, 17+ million are adults and 6+ million are children? If you suffer from asthma, it is likely that you might experience symptoms when you exercise, known as Exercise Induced Bronchospasm (EIB). Additionally, there are some who cough, wheeze or get excessively short of breath only when they exercise. These individuals have what is termed Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA); many are elite athletes whose frequent training or overtraining can cause damage to the lungs.  Researching this condition might confuse you and honestly, it’s just semantics when you break it down between EIB and EIA. For all intents and purposes, we’ll refer to this condition as EIB.    

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Have You Been Misdiagnosed with Asthma?

A new study indicates as many as one in three individuals with a current diagnosis of asthma may have been misdiagnosed. This apparently is not uncommon when proper testing is not obtained with initial diagnosis. This study emphasis that diagnosis and long term management of asthma requires objective measurements of lung function and that without pulmonary function data in long term asthma management, misdiagnosis can often occur. We routinely perform breathing tests at Charleston Allergy & Asthma including spirometry, impulse oscillometry and methacholine inhalation challenge.

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