Question: This is a two-part question.
1. After a hard-effort ride (for example, last weekend we rode 84 miles with 6,500 feet of climbing) I become hoarse, and it lasts for two or three days. I’m 67 and ride for health and race 8-10 times a year. The issue seems to be becoming more frequent.
2. This past winter I raced in three gravel grinder eventswith temperatures at the start around 35-45 degrees. The following day my lungs filled with fluid and that lasted for about 4 days. Doctor visits have not led to any improvement.
Thanks for any help! – Kevin M.
Gabe Mirkin, M.D., Replies: Kevin, you need to get a chest X-ray and have a doctor listen to your chest to make sure you do not have anything else.
I think you will find that you have exercise-induced asthma, which is far more common in athletes than the general population.
It is caused by breathing dry, cold air, and is far less likely to occur in warm weather. Treatment is to use an inhaler before you exercise in cold weather and wear a mask to warm the air that you breathe.
As an example of how pervasive it is, exercise-induced asthma affects more than 60 percent of Olympic swimmers.
To which Kevin followed up:
Gabe, thanks. I had an X-ray last December and am using an inhaler/Singular. The mask may be my last option this winter, or perhaps increasing the strength of my meds. I had a history of asthma as a child, but in the last few years with cycling it has started to return. The hoarseness is new, however.
Gabe Mirkin, M.D., is a sports medicine doctor and fitness guru. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin has run more than 40 marathons and is now a serious tandem bike rider with his wife, Diana. His website is http://drmirkin.com/. Click to read Gabe’s full bio.