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Turbinate hypertrophy and diving

Discussion in 'Marine Science and Physiology' started by jesshazel, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. jesshazel

    jesshazel Garibaldi

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    Hi everyone - I'm new to the board and to scuba diving! About half way through the PADI Open Water course.

    I have 'turbinate hypertrophy' in one side of my nose, which for me results in cold-like symptoms in the morning, slightly restricted breathing through right nostril, mild congestion. I was offered surgery (turbinoplasty) but haven't had it - I may do in the future.

    When I looked into starting scuba diving, I did have concerns about this, but decided to do a trial dive at a swimming pool to see if I was able to equalise easily (never had issues with snorkelling and free diving either) - and it was fine. I decided to start the course but requested a consultation with my doctor just to check it would be OK (as it isn't one of the medical conditions listed on the forms you fill out for PADI).

    Now, I'm half way through the course and approaching the open water dives. I only heard back from my doctor on Friday and after a long discussion, I'm not really sure whether or not I should proceed. He said that while the turbinate issue does not preclude scuba diving, the symptoms associated with it present a higher risk of trauma to the ears and sinuses. Also, I have very small eustachian tubes which he said may cause me problems. However, I've had no issues when diving to 3m and his thinking was that if I was going to have any problems, I would have experienced them already.

    Obviously I'll be diving much deeper for the open water dives so I wanted to get some other opinions.

    Does anyone have any experience of this condition and how it impacts on diving? Would be grateful of any advice. My doctor has suggested I contact a private doctor with dive experience, but I am short on time as the open water dives are booked for 8/9 September. My main concern is reverse block that I'm unable to clear.

    I am mentally prepared to be told not to risk it - but hoping that the 'if you can equalise, you can dive' saying applies and that I'll be fine at any depth if I'm fine at 3m!

    Thank you :)
     

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