Exercise-induced bronchospasm: A case study in a nonasthmatic patient

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Purpose:To provide an overview of the clinical presentation, diagnosis, and management of exercise-induced bronchospasm (EIB) without underlying asthma.Data sources:Case presentation and review of the EIB Landmark Survey.Conclusions:EIB is a common and well-described occurrence in patients with asthma, as well as in patients with no overt respiratory condition. Treatment with a short-acting beta-agonist before starting exercise is effective, yet this treatment approach is underutilized in the majority of patients with asthma.Implications for practice:This case highlights the implications of undermanaged EIB and the disconnect between healthcare provider recommendations and the beliefs and behaviors in patients with EIB. Inhaled short-acting beta-agonists can attenuate EIB in 80%–95% of patients and are effective during 2–3 h of exercise. Patients with a compromised level of physical activity because of EIB who do not respond to conventional treatment strategies should be referred to a respiratory specialist for diagnostic evaluation and confirmation of underlying asthma. Nurse practitioners should remain vigilant to identify untreated EIB and ensure that affected patients understand the condition and appropriate treatment options.

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