17 Melina Street, Rosendal, Bellville, ZA
Tel: +27 (0)21 910 - 0441 
Cell: +27 (0)83 273 - 1986

Receive news items, notification of specials and training tips.
Enter your e-mail below to subscribe to this group
Visit this group

Bed and Breakfast

Tel +27 21 910 0441
mobile +27 83 273 1986
email : f

023 Cycling Induced Asthma

Cycling Induced Asthma

Alternative terminology: Exercise induced asthma (EIA)
For the veteran or senior cyclist this manifests as follows:
tight chest
feeling of unwellness and chest constriction

Frequent causes of a "tight chest" include:

Cold weather, change in weather
mouth breathing
pollen and dust allergy; high pollen counts
Inhalation of cold air by mouth breathing
background of chronic asthma (from childhood or adolescence)
beta-blocker induced bronchospasm (used to treat high blood pressure)
early emphysema (due to cigarette smoking): COPD
senior group: unrecognised coronary heart disease or uncontrolled high blood pressure
freezing of the front of the chest bone due to inadequate clothing and cycling in cold weather (chill factor!)

Asthma: is characterised by hyperresponsive airways that constrict easily in response to a wide range of stimuli (see ALLSA Handbook of Practical Allergy, 2000 (Tel 021-4479019). Don't underestimate asthma. This condition can prove fatal if a severe attack occurs.

Cycling tips:

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 irritability.

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 approach.

The Allergy Society Handbook of Practical Allergy, second edition, 2001.

Site optimised for Internet Explorer 6 or greater in 1024x768 resolution.
For Comments on / Queries about the website contact the Webmaster.  Site last updated on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 .
Hosting by Kingsley
2004 All Rights Reserved. Brands and/or Product names are Trademarks or Registered Trademarks of their respective holders.