• Welcome to ScubaBoard


  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

Asthma and Diving

Discussion in 'Divers with Disabilities' started by Nikkey, Sep 7, 2005.

  1. Nikkey

    Nikkey Guest

    12
    0
    0
    I am new the this forum and I was wondering if anyone had any knowledge on the subject of diving and asthma. I had planned on getting into scuba diving with my boyfriend, so I read up and got freediving gear and all that but then I found out that people with asthma can not dive - so I've been pursuing freediving instead. But I would still like to one day scuba so I'm hoping to grow out of my asthma seems how it is only excersize enduced and not very severe at all, I don't even use an inhaler. So I don't know if it is really all that dangerous but I can't take my open water because thats on the checklist. My family physician isn't very knowledgable on the subject of diving so he was not much help and all the info I found on the web I can't tell whats fact and whats opinion. I would appreciate any feedback, Thanks!

    -Nikkey
     
  2. Jim Lapenta

    Jim Lapenta Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Canonsburg, Pa
    16,880
    8,586
    113
    I would suggest talking to your boyfriends instructor to see if he could recommend a doctor familiar with dive medicine. I know there are different types of asthma and we recently certified a young man (13 yrs old ) who has asthma. Now you must understand it will require a release from a physician and it must be under control. What is under control? this is subjective and in the case I just mentioned it required him to be on medication to control his symptoms for 6 mos with no real flare ups before his doc would sign off. Even then we required him to wait an additional 6 months to be sure. Another instructor may not that's just what we did due to his age and just for our own peace of mind.So the statement that people with asthma cannot dive is not entirely true. It depends on the individual, the individuals doctor, and finally the instructor. A good instructor will require the release not just because but because he must and he will then still be under no obligation to teach you if he's not comfortable.
     
  3. Lead_carrier

    Lead_carrier Instructor, Scuba

    1,860
    98
    48
    Try going to DAN's and do a search on asthma.
    A warning flag goes up with the statement that it is exercized induced. Although scuba is a very relaxing and should be non-strenous, it can be, under certain circumstances, very strenous. For example, you get in a bit of a current and must swim against it. That requires a lot of physical work and could possibly cause a flareup. Not a good thing to have happen at 60 ft.

    I agree with Jim, talk to your boyfriends instructor. He should be able to recommend someone with dive knowledge to advise you and/or your family physican. I have taught a couple of asthmatics and they did fine. By the same token, I have turned down some and not let them take my class.

    Hope you get everything worked out and you do get to scuba.
     
  4. Tod

    Tod Solo Diver

    160
    0
    0
    For what it's worth, my good friend (and frequent dive buddy) has asthma and he has recently been certified (through SDI). His instructor requested that he get an okay from his doctor (which takes you back to your original problem) but after that there was no further question.

    Since his initial certification (and through his subsequent AOW after 25 dives) his only problem has been with his air consumption. Sure most new divers consume a bit more air, but he seems to constantly run through his air quicker. He has compensated for this by using a larger tank (steel 95s to our aluminum 80s), but that's an easy fix.

    So I know it can be done, there's no rule against it. But like all things, there just needs to be a little more planning for issues just in case.
     
  5. COLDREDNECK

    COLDREDNECK Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Yellowknife , NWT
    36
    0
    0
    Hi Nikkey : Welcome to Scuba board . The place with all the answers!!!!
    I myself have asthma. It was really bad as a child but I have outgrown most of it. The rest is under control with a daily medication. I dont even notice I have it unless I really push the exercise. It settles down on its own with a couple minutes of relaxation. When it came to getting certified I ran into the same thing you have. I couldn't find a doctor locally to check me over for dive fitness so I did the bad thing and didnt put down on my medical questionare that I had it. I figured I knew better than anyone what my body could and couldnt do. I know of quite a few others who are in the same boat and have done the same thing. I took it slow and easy in my experiences, working gradually deeper and into more strenuous dives. I havent had any problems to date. I stress again that I feel I know myself better than anyone and I am always watchful of the reactions of my airways. I wouldn't condone this behavior for anyone else and if you can find a doctor and get him/her to agree to check you out and certify you then please do. Scuba has been one of the highlights of my life so far. The unbelievable sights that await you down there are sure to thrill and excite. Good luck
     
  6. craborn

    craborn Instructor, Scuba

    421
    1
    0
    I am sure all of us would advise you to talk to a doctor but please please please go to a dotcor that is familiar with scuba. that way you will get a far deal.... clay
     
  7. knotical

    knotical perpetual student

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Ka'u
    5,748
    824
    113
  8. DeputyDan

    DeputyDan Great White

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North Carolina
    4,131
    451
    83
    #1) You need a doctor's release.

    #2) Know your triggers.

    My daughter has asthma and is AOW and Nitrox certified - her asthma triggers are exercise in cold weather. We only dive in warm weather in warm water environments(we are official warm water wusses due to this). She has never had an issue with diving and in four years we have never - never dove in conditions that are favorable to her triggers.

    The answer is you you can dive but don't be stupid about it. Konw your asthma triggers and plan accordingly.
     

Share This Page