|Be careful of cycling in winter if you are susceptable to bronchospasm.|
|Make sure you take your asthma treatment, if you are an asthmatic.|
|Wear a balaclava and cycling bib to deflect the chill factor off the face,
airways, head and chest.|
|See a pulmonologist or physician.|
|If you have a tight chest, don't go out cycling.|
|If you have just recovered from flu or asthma, be careful. You may have
secondary infection and bronchitis.|
|Don't cycle if you have laryngitis.|
|Cycling with flu will cause an asthma attack and if you are unlucky, a
heart attack or heart failure. First see a doctor.|
|Don't cycle if you have a post-cold cough, especially if you have spasms
of coughing. Bad bronchitis is a contraindication for cycling.|
Control of asthma:
Preventers of asthma attacks:
This includes the inhaled corticosteroids (i.e. beclomethasone, budenoside). The
advantages include reduction in airway inflammation and improved asthma control.
Traditionally, inhalation are administered twice daily. Starting doses are in
the range of 400-500 micrograms/day. Side effects can occur.
Controllers of asthma attacks:
This group includes the long acting beta agonists (salmeterol and formoterol
and the leukotriene receptor antagonists (montelukast and zafirlukast). The
latter are a new class of asthma drugs under study.
Traditionally these have been prescribed for quick relief of acute
bronchospasm and attacks. The typical approach has been prn dose. Short acting
beta-two agonists are preferred. Acute symptoms are relieved by two puffs prn.
Pulmonologists use the frequency of their use as a measure of asthma control.
Well known side effects include increased heart rate, tremor, headache and
Tip for cyclists:
Arrange for a Medic-Alert badge if you are a severe steroid-dependent
asthmatic or experience brittle asthma. For cyclists with EIA, treatment with
short-acting inhaled agonists 15-20 minutes before cycling is the customary
The Allergy Society Handbook of Practical Allergy, second edition, 2001.