The surprise revelation came to light this weekend as the world saw David Beckham, the world’s most famous footballer, using an inhaler. David Beckham has suffered from asthma since childhood but it has never affected his performance on the pitch.
The England star was photographed using an inhaler for asthma during an LA Galaxy match at the weekend. David Beckham has never spoken publicly about his asthma. Many believe that the news that such a famous sportsman has asthma will inspire people with the condition to take part in sports where they may have originally doubted their chances because of asthma.
Asthma in sport should not really come as a shock however. Several high profile athletes suffer from asthma without it affecting their performance including marathon runner Paula Radcliffe, cricketer Ian Botham and footballer Paul Scholes.
Perhaps it is a shame then that David Beckham has never made his asthma public. Young boys and girls look up to David Beckham as a role model and many who suffer from asthma may have gained confidence within them to become involved in sporting activities.
Exercise can cause the onset of coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath in asthma sufferers. However if medication is taken regularly there is no reason why a person with asthma should not play sport or take regular exercise. Warming up properly before doing any sport such as stretching or slow running will help prevent the onset of any asthmatic symptoms.
Some sports have been found to be more asthma friendly than others. Swimming is very asthma friendly as it can help to control breathing and the moist, warm air creates an ideal environment. If the symptoms of asthma get worse during or after exercise it could be a sign that the asthma is poorly controlled and a visit to the doctor or asthma nurse for an asthma review may be required.
England fans need not worry about Beckham and his asthma as the World Cup in South Africa fast approaches. Medical experts were keen to put to rest any fears about Beckham’s ability to cope with the thin air in South Africa. Six of the venues at the finals next year are 3,000 feet above sea level. David Beckham will now be added to the impressive list of sports men and women who have suffered from asthma and have also achieved the highest sporting honours.
Click here to read about the Salitair Salt Pipe for asthma sufferers, available from Health and Care.co.uk