Sidelined during sports season thanks to allergies or asthma? If so, US experts offer up some tips to get you or your child back into the game.
On May 10, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) issued a report on the dos and don’ts of summer sports for allergy and asthma sufferers. First step, be prepared and don’t avoid exercising and staying in good shape because of allergies or asthma. Here's what you can do:
1. Talk to the coach. Alert the coach to any allergic conditions you or your child may have, and what to do in case of an emergency. Provide detailed instructions on where medications are kept on the field and on how to use injectable epinephrine in case of a severe allergic reaction.
2. Watch out for bugs. Bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets, and fire ants can cause a stir on or around sports fields. Use injectable epinephrine and call emergency services in the case of a serious reaction, including hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the tongue, experts say.
3. Build a first aid kit. Make room in the team first aid kit for latex-free bandages and antihistamines to treat minor allergic reactions.
4. Find the right sport. Sports that involve a lot of running, such as football, basketball, and field hockey, can be tough for those with exercise-induced asthma, which affects up to 10 percent of the population. "You can use a short-acting, quick relief inhaler at least 20 minutes before exercise," states the ACAAI. If the amount of running is too much, consider switching to a more asthma-friendly sport, such as baseball, golf, or swimming. Talk to your allergist about the best options for you or your child.
5. Stop the sneezing. To help head off a sneezing fit due to allergies to grass, ragweed, and other pollen-producing plants, take allergy medication before the game. When you get home, wash off the pollen and keep it from spreading around the house by jumping in the shower after the game.
The US-based renowned Mayo Clinic also recommends that asthma sufferers warm up for 15 minutes before strenuous activity, and opt to work out in humid places, such as a trail alongside a lake or gym with an indoor pool. Also, learning to breathe through your nose and not your mouth can help, the website states.
Watch a video on preventing asthma attacks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7ChPhnvvng