Now that the snow is mostly gone I managed to get in a really quick bike ride, before it got too dark. I found when I got back my lungs felt sort of kicked, like it feels a bit constricted so it makes me cough a lot and I am still coughing. I'm just curious what causes this because I thought this was from cold air, but I realized when I was doing much longer rides in freezing temperatures, with snow on me and a frozen water bottle, I would come back and feel fine. On this short ride I didn't ride any harder than usual either, because the roads are still slushy, so why would my lungs hurt after a warmer ride like this and not on all the freezing rides?
What causes your lungs to hurt after a ride?
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I agree with the posters who say you should have a doctor check out your lungs.
But, as somebody with asthma, I can tell you that the symptoms you're having are classic for a mild attack of asthma. You may have the form of asthma I do, which is called Reactive Airways Disease. What that means is that it's not the bad form of chronic asthma that just happens all the time. It means your lungs react (to something you're inhaling) with asthma symptoms. It can be the same aggravant all the time, or it can differ occasionally, which would explain why cold air doesn't always do it -- it might be something IN the air today that wasn't there on your other cold rides.
For me, it happens if I accidentally inhale strong cleaning chemical fumes (like bleach or ammonia), if I'm around cats or where cats live, if there's dust or smoke (especially fireplace smoke) in the air, with mold or mildew, and around strong perfumes. But it's interesting how specific it is; I can have a fire in my fireplace at home with the glass doors closed, and I'm fine. But if I go outside and smell the smoke, it'll spark an attack. Campfires don't usually cause it, but fireplace chimney smoke does. So I'm reacting to a specific something in the air, and I'll bet you are too.
Because the attacks of Reactive Airways Disease happen so sporadically, they're hard for doctors to diagnose. The best way to help them see it is to go when you're having the problem. For me personally, what helps it when it's happening is an ALLERGY pill, because it helps your lungs stop the allergic reaction they're having. That's handy to know if you don't have an inhaler at the time, or if it's not bad enough for one.
As I said, go see the doc. You don't want this to hinder your biking!
Thanks for the responses. So about asthma, I had it when I was younger and I had to use an inhaler, but eventually it went away. I might still have it a little bit, but it's not bad at all, like my lungs just feel a bit tight, and my breathing does too, but then it goes away. Also it only happens after the bike ride, so when I'm out there working hard and I got rhythm going I feel good, but once I stop and get off the bike I start to feel it. It doesn't happen often though, and the cough I get from it is small, like if you were to give out a little chuckle or laugh, it feels like that. No wheezing or anything. If it's not from cold air, maybe it was because it was raining and misty out. I did a hill climb through it, and also I saw someone riding off their saddle so I just had to go and pass them for fun heh, so I guess I worked a little harder than usual, but overall the ride was short. I'm curious now, next time it's raining and moist I'll try a hard ride and see if my lungs feel it or not.
That's exactly the way my lungs feel when my RAD is acting up. I too had asthma as a child and then it went away, and now I have this. You're right, it isn't bad at all, the lungs just feel tight and breathing is a little difficult. Your cough is what made me think of it, because that's what happens to me when I have it -- I get this short dry cough until the lungs settle down. And like you, it doesn't act up DURING the exercise, it acts up afterward; the doctor said it's an autoimmune response to whatever I breathed in.
As I said, an antihistamine works about as well for me as my inhaler ever did! But let us know how it turns out. (And especially if it gets worse, see your doc.)
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That'll do it :-)
After VO2 intervals, especially in the cold, I end up with a bit of dry cough (lasts a few hours), and a scratchy voice.
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