I'm a 16-year-old male basketball player who missed half of last season from cold and exercise- induced asthma. I don't have any allergies and take a full complement of asthma medicine. Any sinus or upper respiratory symptoms I get turn into me being down for 2-3 weeks. In the summers, I have no symptoms. Is there a way to stay active in the winter without losing weeks at a time to the asthma?
Asthma doesn't, nor should it, keep you down. As a 16yo basketball player, I am sure that your are very active. With the right complement oof medication for your asthma, you shuld be able to experience controlled asthma. You didn't mention whether you are being followed by an asthma specialist, or if your primary care provider is the one following your asthma. There are a couple of suggestions that I will hare with you.
- If you are not seeing an asthma specialist, please see one. A specialist will be able to sort through your specific case and determine if you recieved the correct diagnosis (or if there are other factors/diagnoses that need to be considered) and tweek the medications that you take. Treating asthma does not mean that someone must take tons of medication - you just should be on the right combination of them.
- Seek advice from a certified asthma educator (AE-C). An AE-C might be able to work with your doctor to fid the best plan of action for you, double check your techniques for administering your medications (to ensure that you are actually recieving the correct amount), and look at other factors that might be keeping you from experiencing controlled asthma. I know that MN has numerous AE-Cs and many health plans support visits with AE-Cs. Check with your insurance company to see if they will cover visits with AE-Cs.
- Understand your airways. It is not a surprise that you say your sinus and upper respiratory symptoms cause your grief. Your asthma will not be controlled if your upper respiratory system is not well. A specialist should be able to weed through all of that.
As far as exercise-induced asthma, if you are having asthma challenges (uncontrolled) outside of sports, it is not just exercise-induced. If you are out of sports for 1/2 the season due to your asthma, your asthma is uncontrolled. Allergies may not be a trigger for you, but that doesn't mean that you only have exercise-induced asthma - it just means that you have other triggers.
Please know that you can have CONTROLLED asthma, with the right treatment, and play basketball for the entire seasion! Asthma shouldn't control you - YOU can control your asthma. I hope these suggestions are helpful. Good luck to your next basketball season and look forward to a full, healthy season of breathing easy and basketball.
Here are some other links you might find useful:
Is Public Transit Making Me Sick?
9 Ways to Keep Your Airways Clear and Lungs Clean
7 Everyday Things You Should Avoid Sharing