Golfing With Asthma

May 4, 2022
Asthma

If you have asthma, golfing is a good sport to play. However, you still need to manage your illness to ensure that you remain healthy. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 25 million Americans have asthma: 1 in 11 children and 1 in 13 adults. The numbers are higher in Connecticut when compared to other state averages.

Asthma is the leading cause of chronic illness and disability in children, and it disproportionately affects those of African American or Puerto Rican descent. Social determinants of health, such as socioeconomic status and the environment, are risk factors. If untreated, many people end up in the Emergency Department. 

It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of asthma and what to do if you have asthma, and Middlesex Health’s Veronica Mansfield can help with that. Mansfield is an advanced practice registered nurse, certified case manager and asthma educator for Middlesex Health’s Center for Chronic Care Management. 

The signs

Asthma is often diagnosed in childhood, but it can be diagnosed at any age. Warning signs include:

  • Persistent cough
  • Wheezing
  • Chest discomfort
  • Shortness of breath

Many people get used to these symptoms and consider them normal, but they are not, Mansfield, says. When individuals experience these symptoms, they should visit their primary care doctor.

“Asthma attacks can be prevented and avoided if managed,” Mansfield says. “Symptom management is the biggest challenge.”

What to do if diagnosed

Once diagnosed with asthma, it is important to follow your health care provider’s directions. To manage asthma and avoid an attack, prescribed daily steroid inhalers should be used even if no symptoms are present. This helps to reduce any swelling and inflammation in the lungs. The goal is to treat and prevent exacerbation and to minimize environmental triggers when possible.

For asthma management, Mansfield recommends regular asthma wellness visits with a health care provider. For those who need to use a rescue inhaler, such as Albuterol, more than two times per week during the day or more than two times per month during the night, Mansfield suggests discussing a plan with a health care provider to better manage symptoms.

Asthma and golf

While a good workout, golfing is a staggered activity. You swing your club and then you walk, and this is helpful when trying to manage your asthma. 

Endurance sports and activities that take place in colder temperatures are more likely to trigger your symptoms. Cold, dry air can constrict your airway and prompt your asthma symptoms. 

Still, asthma can certainly impact your golf game. PGA pro Ian Poulter has asthma and regularly talks about how his asthma and allergies impact his life and career.

If you have asthma, don’t forget to bring your inhaler with you when you participate in an activity, including when you play a round of golf. If you need it, you don’t want to be without it! 

About Middlesex Health Center for Chronic Care Management

Middlesex Health’s Center for Chronic Care Management is located in Middletown. 

To be eligible for a Center for Chronic Care Management program, you must have a provider affiliated with Middlesex Health. 

Through the AIR Middlesex program, adult patients work with their physicians to develop a customized treatment and follow-up plan to manage their asthma. The program offers one-on-one assessments, education on how to properly use asthma medications, advice on how to lessen or eliminate asthma triggers and more. 

A similar program is offered for children. 

For more information, click here.

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