EIB is a common manifestation in diagnosed asthmatics and is a sensitive warning sign of worsening asthma. EIB may occur as an isolated entity in the absence of signs and symptoms of chronic asthma. Careful diagnosis is crucial in determining if this condition represents a preasthmatic state or simply a transient condition resulting from individual sensitivity to hyperventilation. The pathophysiology of EIB is hypothesized to result from rapid airway rewarming after hyperventilation. Effective treatment modalities include behavioral techniques and pharmacologic agents. Appropriate treatment regimens consisting of pharmacologic or behavioral modalities should prevent serious sequelae and should enable the patient to participate at all levels of athletics. The nurse is an essential member of the team identifying, preventing, and treating exercise-induced bronchospasm or asthma.
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