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moodyrichardson
October 7th, 2008, 09:52 AM
In the last few weeks I've noticed after about 500m of backstroke or more, when I go upright I get REALLY dizzy. No other stroke has this effect. If I do less than 500 or so, there's really not a problem. Anyone ever had this problem? If so, are there remedies? Would using earplugs help?

elise526
October 7th, 2008, 11:29 AM
It could be because of your head position. Be sure you are looking up at the ceiling instead of at the wall you are swimming away from. It could simply be that your body position in backstroke is causing the blood to primarily go to your legs instead of your upper body and head.

After you finish backstroke, try standing on the shallow end with your hands on your knees, looking down before you stand upright. If you can't do this because your pool is too deep, do it immediately upon exiting the pool.

I have a problem with dizziness when I stand that is particularly aggravated if I am not well-hydrated. Be sure you are drinking plenty of gatorade-like fluids when you are swimming. I also had a problem with backstroke because the blood would pool in one of my arms. Check both arms after you swim over 500 back and see if you notice any swelling in the tricep/bicep area of your arm.

Typhoons Coach
October 7th, 2008, 12:00 PM
Also, swimming longer distances with backstroke (and any other stroke for that matter), your breathing patterns my also shift from breathing deep and controlled to shallow breathing (or vice versa). The lack of oxygen, or change in the oxygen level of the body/brain may also cause this dizziness. Just something to think about while you self-diagnose.

moodyrichardson
October 7th, 2008, 02:23 PM
Thanks for the tips! I'll take note of these things, while I'm doing laps this afternoon.

Typhoons Coach
October 7th, 2008, 02:23 PM
Thanks for the tips! I'll take note of these things, while I'm doing laps this afternoon.

Definitely keep us updated as well!

moodyrichardson
October 7th, 2008, 05:15 PM
Here's what I've discoverd so far. I'm looking straight up at the ceiling for a guide, while I swim (otherwise I'm so new at it, I'd be crashing into the lane lines, etc.) I didn't notice any swelling in my upper arms, just by sight. I'll measure tomorrow. I was so busy trying to look at everything else, that I totally forgot to monitor my breathing.

Maybe this is a clue. I usually do my backstroke, right after my 500m breaststroke set. I usually try to swim the last 100 as fast as I can. I use the backstroke to usually catch my breath. Could that be the problem?

elise526
October 7th, 2008, 05:35 PM
Next time, check out your breathing. I thought the post mentioning the breathing was a good one. I'm doubtful that the body position (not head position) thing I mentioned makes a ton of difference because you are in a gravity-free environment.

You mentioned getting dizzy when you stand up. I have a form of orthostatic intolerance (body fails to make proper adjustments when standing) that I discovered after a workout.

To be on the safe side, you might want to have a medical person take your blood pressure and pulse lying down and compare it to what it is when you stand up after 2 minutes and after 10 minutes. If there is a significant difference in blood pressure, you might want to talk to your doc. By the way, do this test before you have done any exercise and make sure you are well-hydrated.

Personally, I think if you have just recently started experiencing the dizziness and it was not a problem before, I would mention it to my doc. Keep us posted on this. Hope what I suggested is helpful.

Typhoons Coach
October 8th, 2008, 09:59 AM
Here's what I've discoverd so far. I'm looking straight up at the ceiling for a guide, while I swim (otherwise I'm so new at it, I'd be crashing into the lane lines, etc.) I didn't notice any swelling in my upper arms, just by sight. I'll measure tomorrow. I was so busy trying to look at everything else, that I totally forgot to monitor my breathing.

Maybe this is a clue. I usually do my backstroke, right after my 500m breaststroke set. I usually try to swim the last 100 as fast as I can. I use the backstroke to usually catch my breath. Could that be the problem?

Cheryl, it very well could be an issue; try to measure/monitor your breathing next time...

geochuck
October 8th, 2008, 10:55 AM
I found that when I wear goggles and swim backstroke or even kick on the back I get seasick (dizzy). When I do not wear goggles I am fine.

Typhoons Coach
October 8th, 2008, 11:37 AM
I found that when I wear goggles and swim backstroke or even kick on the back I get seasick (dizzy). When I do not wear goggles I am fine.

Now that is an interesting concept! What kind of goggles do you wear?

geochuck
October 8th, 2008, 11:52 AM
All of the small lense goggles. I have tried all kinds from speedo, parnell, yingfa, arena, etc etc

Typhoons Coach
October 8th, 2008, 12:17 PM
All of the small lense goggles. I have tried all kinds from speedo, parnell, yingfa, arena, etc etc

I have to say that I haven't heard or seen that before...you are unique, my friend!! :D

moodyrichardson
October 8th, 2008, 01:50 PM
I found that when I wear goggles and swim backstroke or even kick on the back I get seasick (dizzy). When I do not wear goggles I am fine.


Now, THAT is interesting. Maybe I'll give it a try without the goggles and see if that makes a difference. I've always had a problem with motion sickness on rides that spin (can do coasters fine though...go figure), BUT I don't have a problem with air or seasickness. I have class tonight, so I'll let you guys know the results tomorrow.

Typhoons Coach
October 8th, 2008, 01:58 PM
Now, THAT is interesting. Maybe I'll give it a try without the goggles and see if that makes a difference. I've always had a problem with motion sickness on rides that spin (can do coasters fine though...go figure), BUT I don't have a problem with air or seasickness. I have class tonight, so I'll let you guys know the results tomorrow.


Definitely look forward to it!!

laineybug
October 8th, 2008, 02:32 PM
Could be an inner ear problem???? I was thinking that might be the problem then when you mentioned the carnival ride thing.

The fluids in the inner ear shift to 'balance' you in the water for a long length of time and then when you get out/stand up they don't re-adjust?

Just a thought. Lainey

moodyrichardson
October 8th, 2008, 04:03 PM
Could be an inner ear problem???? I was thinking that might be the problem then when you mentioned the carnival ride thing.

The fluids in the inner ear shift to 'balance' you in the water for a long length of time and then when you get out/stand up they don't re-adjust?

Just a thought. Lainey

I definitely have thought about that. I have noticed that I tend to get and keep water in my ears more, after I've been swimming backstroke. I'm only dizzy for a minute or so, and then it stops. Maybe earplugs or is it just my wonky head?

geochuck
October 8th, 2008, 04:13 PM
Not an outer ear problem. Let us know if the goggles are the problem it seams to me when I wear goggles it limits my peripheral vision.


I definitely have thought about that. I have noticed that I tend to get and keep water in my ears more, after I've been swimming backstroke. I'm only dizzy for a minute or so, and then it stops. Maybe earplugs or is it just my wonky head?

laineybug
October 8th, 2008, 05:26 PM
ear plugs would keep water from getting into the outter ear. But who knows maybe that water is some how causing the imbalance.

There are three semi circular cannels in the inner ear that are filled with fluid. If I'm remembering correctly, this fluid can, and should, shift around. The shifting sends signals to the brain about body position and helps with balance. If off it might cause dizziness.

I'm with the rest of the folks here, because it has come on so suddendly I'd mention it to my doc.

Lainey

swimcat
October 8th, 2008, 05:46 PM
i had a similar problem swimming short course of anything over 400. and also doing corkscrew drills.
i went to an ENT you might want to do the same. anyway, he said i had postional vertigo. i noticed also if i fly over 5 hours and change time zones often i get dizzy. anyway, mine was traced back to smacking the back of my head on the wall doing backstroke. it loosened the inside of the inner ear(balance) i think they told me it was like coral if it breaks off it floats back and forth. man when i get these episodes it is terrible. lucky, it doesnt happen often. check it out seriously. i was about 32 when it happened

moodyrichardson
October 9th, 2008, 09:04 AM
I think the inner ear might indeed be my problem. I experimented last night, my night out of the pool. It seems that when I tip my head back at a certain angle is when it happens, even on dry land. So, the swimming really has nothing to do with it. I also got to thinking that about a month ago, I had a throat and ear infection too. It's a good thing that I have a physical coming up in the next couple of weeks. Thanks for everyone's help and suggestions.

Typhoons Coach
October 9th, 2008, 11:01 AM
I think the inner ear might indeed be my problem. I experimented last night, my night out of the pool. It seems that when I tip my head back at a certain angle is when it happens, even on dry land. So, the swimming really has nothing to do with it. I also got to thinking that about a month ago, I had a throat and ear infection too. It's a good thing that I have a physical coming up in the next couple of weeks. Thanks for everyone's help and suggestions.

Cheryl, best of luck with that, and definitely glad that we could all help in the self-diagnosis.

moodyrichardson
October 12th, 2008, 08:45 PM
After working doubles all last week, I finally got to get back in the pool today. Funny thing is, I didn't feel dizzy at all today. I did make sure that my breathing was deep and even, while backstroking. I'm still planning to mention it at my physical, but hopefully either the breathing correction did it, or I was still having aftereffects of my ear infection.

One thing I did realize is that I was VERY VERY tired for the last 2 weeks. I've spent the last couple days just trying to catch up on my rest. I wonder if that made any difference?

I'm just glad that it didn't happen today.

ALM
October 12th, 2008, 09:39 PM
Sounds like in addition to the throat and ear infection, maybe you had some sort of virus. That could explain the fatigue. Hopefully that's all it was and you won't have any more problems.

If you do continue to notice vertigo when you tilt your head at certain angles, you might do some reading on BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo):
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vertigo/DS00534

swimcat
October 13th, 2008, 09:37 AM
Sounds like in addition to the throat and ear infection, maybe you had some sort of virus. That could explain the fatigue. Hopefully that's all it was and you won't have any more problems.

If you do continue to notice vertigo when you tilt your head at certain angles, you might do some reading on BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo):
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vertigo/DS00534

yeah, that's me. i had all the tests and that's what i have. they also thought i had menieres. although i have an "old" condition, it all goes back to the blow on the back of the head.
an olympic diver also has bpv. can u imagine.?

moodyrichardson
October 15th, 2008, 12:02 PM
The virus had to be it. After 3 swims this week of even longer distances...no problem. I've even felt so good that I've been working on my open and flip turns!

One last question. After an illness, say bronchitis, cold, stomach virus, what is the recommeded time to stay out of the water?

elise526
October 16th, 2008, 12:05 AM
I think time out when you are sick depends on lots of things - other medical conditions you have, how severe the particular illness has been, etc.

I really like to keep track of my heart rate. When I am really sick, my resting HR will jump up 30 beats higher than normal. I wait until my resting HR is within 5 -10 beats of normal before I exercise again. I also have asthma, so if I have been sick, I will use a flow meter to be sure that my breathing is within 80% breathing capacity before I exercise. I have found that if I ignore the important numbers I mentioned above, I stress my body, resulting in a much longer recovery and sometimes a relapse of the illness.

I think knowing specific things about your body when it is well versus when you are suffering an illness will serve as the best guide in deciding when to resume exercise. Hope that helps! :)

moodyrichardson
October 16th, 2008, 12:17 PM
Thanks so much for some guidelines to start with. I'll be sure to use my heart rate as a guide to see how I'm doing, after illness.