Geared to competitive and recreational athletes

The Asthma Center at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center offers a specialized, clinical program devoted to the unique care and individual needs of competitive or recreational athletes with asthma.

Who manages the Asthma in Athletes program?

A team of seasoned experts, with extensive experience in the field of asthma and exercise, runs this innovative program – the same team that takes care of The Ohio State University’s student athletes. 

Why do we offer such a program?

Breathing problems during exercise are extremely common. About 80 percent of people with chronic asthma will experience exercise-induced bronchospasm, also known as EIB.

Breathing symptoms can be mild or severe, and start during or right after exercise. The most common symptoms are:

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
  • Fatigue
  • Poor exercise performance

About ten percent of the general population without asthma will have EIB. Competitive and recreational athletes have a much higher rate of EIB. In studies of Olympic and other elite athletes, EIB occurred 20 to 50 percent of the time in athletes without asthma. Many of these athletes did not even know they had EIB.

What types of athletes are cared for by the Asthma in Athletes program?

The same services that we provide to the Buckeyes are available to all athletes, recreational or competitive. We welcome athletes of all ages and levels of skill.

What services does the program offer? 

The initial visit to the Asthma in Athletes program will include a comprehensive history and physical examination. The appropriate diagnostic tests will be scheduled based on the needs of each individual athlete. Those tests may include specialized pulmonary function testing, electrocardiography, echocardiography, allergy testing or evaluation for vocal cord dysfunction.

At the second visit, the results of diagnostic testing will be reviewed and a treatment plan will be developed. Later, at the third visit, your response to treatment will be evaluated and the need for future visits will be determined.

Additionally we offer Eucapnic Voluntary Hyperventilation (EVH) testing, a rapid breathing test used to diagnose exercise-induced asthma. The Asthma Center at the Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center is the only facility in central Ohio that offers EVH testing, the International Olympic Committee’s preferred test for diagnosing exercise-induced asthma.

We also provide access to our multidisciplinary team of physicians that specialize in allergy, otolaryngology, sports medicine and sports psychology. Based on our clinical evaluation, we offer an individualized treatment plan and education tailored to the specific needs of each athlete. We can also communicate treatment plans with the athlete’s coaching staff, athletic trainers or other physicians if requested.

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