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Thread: Asthma

  1. #1
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    Asthma

    I am having trouble with an asthmatic reaction to chlorine in the pool when I swim laps. Any advice on how to manage this type of reaction? I want to keep swimming.

  2. #2
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    Re: Asthma

    First of all, make sure your asthma is well controlled before trying to swim. Well controlled means that (excluding exercise) you use your rescue inhaler no more than twice per week. If your asthma isn't that great when you head into the pool, you are going to run into trouble from the chlorine, and likely to get into an exercise induced asthma attack as well. If you are having a bad day, don't swim. Trust me, besides freaking out the life guards out life guards (who often know nothing about asthma), you will make yourself much worse.


    Next, before you to go the pool, pre-treat yourself with your rescue inhaler (most likely albuterol). This can help to prevent attacks and help you tolerate the chlorine and exercise better.

    Finally, try out different pools if this is an option. I know I have a lot more trouble when the bubble is on our local pool than I do at a regular in door pool. Out door pools seem to be the best. Also, different pools use different amounts of chlorine. look for one that uses less chlorine and is out doors.

  3. #3

    Re: Asthma

    there are some daily preventatives, that work differently for different people; I'm now taking singulair with modest success; watch out for the daily preventative medicines where you breathe a powder, as a side-effect you might lose your voice - as I did - completely hoarse and scratchy so that I had to whisper when I talked. Luckily my voice came back when I stopped but for some people it doesn't. My doctor never mentioned this possible side effect so be sure and read all your labels!

  4. #4
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    Re: Asthma

    Both good suggestions. I work with a pulmonologist and have for many years so the asthma is quite controlled. I do use the rescue inhaler before swimming. I am about to try a claritan-type allergy tab and saline gel nose drops (no med) -- advice I got from other swim-feeds which suggest that its not just the chlorine but the reaction of the chlorine with organics in the pool water. I use my own pool seasonally which gives me no trouble. The college pool is a different story. I've read some about bronchospasms while swimming, too -- I have so little breath that I can't flip turn which may be spasm related. We'll see. Thanks for writing.

  5. #5
    Very Active Member swim4me's Avatar
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    Re: Asthma

    I just found out that, I too, have asthma. A life-long very healthy athlete, I had been feeling very extremely exhausted and my heart was acting funny ('hard beating' and palpitations when at rest). I had all kinds of tests done (ordered by another Dr., as the one I usually see could not see me that day). When I did see my usual Dr., he suspected Asthma and prescribed a once a day powder inhaler. He said to stop it if no improvement after a week. Well, energy levels are back up and all tests have come back normal (I am still waiting for 1 test's results). I am also no longer gasping for air after a difficult set (I thought this was normal for me - back swimming for a year after a 25 year lay-off). I have not lost my voice (though my husband would consider that a bonus. ). I can stay under longer after the flip turn and am doing more SDKs before surfacing since being on the inhaler. It is something to look into.
    If you want a place in the sun, you have to put up with a few blisters. Abigail Van Buren

  6. #6

    Re: Asthma

    I was on it (advair) about 3-4 weeks before my voice started disappearing, and another 2 weeks before I realized it was connected to the medicine.

  7. #7
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    Re: Asthma

    Just fyi: I am actually getting some relief from using the claritan and a saline gel in my nose. Not 100%, but a whole lot better.

  8. #8
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    Re: Asthma

    I dont get to swim much in the winter because of how bad the air is in the pool... its rough

  9. #9
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    Re: Asthma

    I have severe/moderate asthma-73 %. We all now know that there can't be an allergic reation to chlorine becaue there is no protein present. There are tons of other things though around pols that you can be allergic to and not know it.

    I'm alergic to singulair. Get a great red rash. This is a very common problem with hte drug that the producers don't want many people to know about. I've heard as many as 35 % users have this reaction.

    I have huge lungs generally when I get my yearly PFT well over 9 liters. I take prednisone 10 mg every morning. I also take Theo-24 600 mgs X2 daily plus I use an Duoneb, Allergra D. I'm allergic to pigeons and that's it but I produce eosinophiles like mad. Have you had an Anti-IgE test? they really indicate any allergy better than skin tests. There could be something you are allergic to but don't know it.

    I have found that pulmonologist are much better for me than are allergists.

  10. #10

    Re: Asthma

    i don't know why, but to me it seems like all the swimmers with asthma i know swim REALLY fast.

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