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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
    Posts
    4,172

    Salt and breathing

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    Hi there.
    Today I did a rather fast ride in pretty humid air. Temp was cool-ish, around 65 F.
    I felt okay riding, but whenever we stopped -- for a traffic light -- it felt like my chest closed up and my throat got really tight. I'd end up coughing.
    When I was moving, it was okay...not great, but okay. The group of us - about 15 - waited at the top of this hill for the rest of the group to catch up, and I was complaining about my chest/coughing issue. A woman said she has allergies with similar symptoms and carries little packets of salt with her. When she feels that coming on, she breaks open the salt and takes a small shot right on her toungue, which she then washes down with water. Like gargling with salt water, she said, it helps to break up the mucus and stops her from coughing.
    She had some salt with her, I tried it. I'm not sure it worked, but perhaps it did, as I didn't cough for the rest of the ride.
    Has anyone ever heard of this???
    FWIW, I've never been tested for allergies or asthma, but I do tend to cough when exercising in cold or humid weather.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,662
    It sounds like you might have exercise-induced asthma. I do as well, and I have never heard of salt as a cure. I have been using albuterol inhalers for years, and just recently started on Advair, which seems to be helping quite a bit. I suggest a doctor visit as asthma is nothing to play around with. You'll do better cycling with proper treatment!

    Good luck,
    Emily
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    4

    Exercise-Induced Asthma

    I have exercise-induced asthma. Not pretty, especially on a long ride. Do you also cough under stress? I find that Advair works for me also, but I only need it when the weather changes to cold. If you have a lot of coughing spells over the winter, you might want to try putting on a scarf and breathing through it. For whatever reason it works for me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    around Seattle, WA
    Posts
    3,250
    Sounds like exercise induced asthma, and I'll reiterate what Emily and Bikechick said - go see your doctor.
    As to why the salt solution helped, probably for the same reason it helps when you have a cold or sore throat - the salt solution sooths the inflamed passages. But the WHY they're inflamed is the concern, and thus the reason for the trip to your local Doc.
    Once you're on the right inhaler, you'll probably find you're riding better ... clear breathing, what a concept.

    Good Luck!
    Beth
    Beth

 

 

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