Sunday, August 3, 2008

Breathe Easily

If you or someone you know is a basketball player who has asthma (like Dominique Wilkens, shown above), here's useful website that I recently read about., gives you the chance to check out the allergy and air-quality levels for any zip code in the United States. They also have a place where you can sign up for asthma alerts by e-mail on the days that your local ashtma index level might be a concern.

Unless it's severe, asthma shouldn't stop someone from playing basketball. But it's important to know that playing basketball with asthma CAN cause significant breathing problems. In fact, an article from the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (volume 113, nuber 2, Feb 2004) found that basketball was the sport most often associated with deaths in athletes with asthma (13 over a period of 7 years).

So what can you do? If you have asthma, work with your doctor to create an asthma action plan that uses medicine to control your asthma and/or rescue you from an attack, make sure you take the time to warm up before playing, and avoid triggers (like high pollen counts, smoke, and poor air-quality) that might cause an asthma attack.

Take care of your asthma, then take it strong to the hoop.

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