Non-Asthma Related Breathing Problems In Athletes

This BASES Expert Statement looks into exercise respiratory symptoms, such as wheezing, tight chest, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and coughing which are commonly reported by athletes.

These non-specific symptoms need to be assessed in order to confirm or eliminate the presence of cardio-pulmonary causes.

There is a high prevalence – 70% – of asthma and exercise induced bronchoconstriction (EIB) in sports with high breathing requirements, and it has been assumed that exercise-induced respiratory symptoms in these athletes is due to asthma or exercise-induced-asthma (EIA).

Symptoms however are misleading and this Expert Statement looks at these differential causes of exercise respiratory symptoms: Exercise-Induced Laryngeal Obstruction (EILO) and Dysfunctional Breathing.

Interventions are then discussed which include breathing pattern retraining and inspiratory muscle training and finally conclusions are made.

You can read the full Expert Statement here, Assessment and Management of Non-asthma Related Breathing Problems in Athletes.

Modern Health and Fitness – Thanks POWERbreathe for the changes in my running times

Elspeth RaisbeckAnother month on and I’m seeing small incremental changes to my running times.  I’m running more consistently and still using my POWERbreathe to warm up which straightens out my lungs after a day hunched in the car or at my desk.

I think the POWERbreathe has benefited my exercise routine enormously and I’ll continue to use it every day.  I’ve currently improved to level 4 on my POWERbreathe Fitness Plus, which proves that my inspiratory muscles are improving in strength.

I’m also researching the benefits of the POWERbreathe/Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) for patients with breathing problemsasthma through to cystic fibrosis and heart failure.  This means wading through a lot of clinical research papers with long words written by people with planet-sized brains but no idea what a paragraph is!  When I’ve translated the long words into their 1 or 2-sylable counterparts I’ll be writing an article on IMT for one of the nursing journals in the UK.

That patients “get better at using the device” is a criticism levelled at some of the clinical tests for IMT. The argument is that patients don’t actually benefit from IMT but that they simply learn to use the device better and therefore improve on the outcome measures.

The general agreement is that, as the studies done so far are small, there needs to be more research.

But if I thought one of my patients would benefit from using a POWERbreathe then I would be prescribing one (the POWERbreathe Medic is available on prescription in the UK) or suggesting s/he bought one.  No question.

Thanks POWERbreathe!

Elspeth – Modern Health and Fitness

Breathing difficulties with COPD – 5 top tips for COPD Treatment

Anyone who suffers from COPD will know that the most common and most troublesome symptom is dyspnoea, also known as shortness of breath.  As COPD progresses, shortness of breath also worsens. This has a detrimental affect on our daily activities and overall quality of life. Anyone with this respiratory condition will know how difficult it can be just going for a walk or participating in any form of exercise.various medications are available which help to a certain point with breathing. However, better breathing with COPD requires a much more comprehensive approach for COPD treatment. This includes the following:

Quit smoking

Stamping out those cigarettes is the first step to better breathing.  If you are a smoker and suffer from any respiratory condition then putting out the cigarettes can slow down progression of any respiratory disease and improve your quality of life enabling you to breathe easier. Research has shown lung function decline in COPD once a person quits smoking. Have you stamped out those cigarettes yet?

Take your medication

Most COPD medications are designed to improve your breathing and help you breathe more easily so you can live each day much more comfortably.  For this reason alone COPD medication are the backbone for COPD treatment.

Get more sleep

Tiredness is common amongst people who suffer from respiratory conditions. The constant feeling of being tired makes everything more difficult and simple things like breathing become more difficult.  It is important to get the rest needed as this is important to health and overall well being. Taking plenty of rest will help you recharge your batteries and give you more energy to breathe.

Avoid airway irritants

Long term exposure to airway irritants is a major factor causing COPD.  Once diagnosed, any further exposure to these irritants can escalate the condition and make breathing very difficult for you.  The deterrent is simple: Breathe in clean air.

Get your pulmonary rehab on

If you are looking for the highest standard of treatment for COPD then it doesn’t get any better than pulmonary rehabilitation. This treatment is beneficial for COPD patients who are in all stages of COPD – moderate through to severe. Pulmonary rehab helps to improve the quality of life of COPD sufferers.