Snorkelling and Asthma - do they mix?

Sep 14th, 2004, 02:15 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 424
Snorkelling and Asthma - do they mix?

I have a bout of mild asthma at the moment which I am hoping will go back to sleep before we hit Australia on Saturday. However, someone told me that it is not advisable to snorkel with asthma. Are any of you experts out there able to confirm or deny this piece of info? I would so hate to miss out on snorkelling while on the GBR on Tuesday.
dotty is offline  
Sep 14th, 2004, 03:00 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 31
Hi Dotty
This it what it says about snorkeling in my travel pack.....Snorkelers with Medical Conditions...
Although snorkeling is generally a safe activity, it is important that you are aware that snorkeling can be a strenuous physical activity and this may increase the health and safety risks to you if you are suffering frombr />
Any medical condition that may be made worse by physical exertion. For example, Heart Disease, Asthma and some Lung Complaints. Any medical condition that can result in loss of consciousness. For example, some forms of Epilepsy and severe hypoglycaemic reactions in people with Diabetes. Asthma that can be brought on by cold water or salt water mist.

If you have any medical condition or any concerns and you are intending to snorkel, we recommend youbr />
Tell the lookout or snorkeling guide about your concerns or your medical condition.
Snorkel in an area which allows the lookout or snorkeling guide to offer close supervision.
Wear a flotation device or buoyancy wetsuit that will support you in a relaxed state.

hope this helps! enjoy your trip
Louy is offline  
Sep 14th, 2004, 03:12 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 609
Hi Dotty

I too have asthma that can be brought on by exertion. It has not stopped me snokling but has made me cautious.

I am by no means an expert on the topic but here is my 2 cents.

Make sure if you are out on a boat take your Ventolin (Or whatever inhaler you have) with you. Advise the dive/snorkel team of your condition and snorkel with a buddy that can keep an eye on you.

Most of all try not to strain when breathing through the tube, I know, easy to say when you are sitting at a computer. Not so easy to do when the initial shock of hitting the water is on you.

Good luck and happy snorkling.

Kiwi_acct is offline  
Sep 14th, 2004, 10:50 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 424
Hi, Louy and Steve,
Thanks for the advice. This asthma has come on because of a silly head cold I picked up last week, from my class I have no doubt, and the strong, cold winds we have been having in Wellington over the last few weeks. I shall certainly have my Ventolin with me and was planning to talk to the 'guides' about it anyway. Hopefully I will be able to learn to snorkel without too much hassle. Looking forward to it so much. Thanks again.
dotty is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 01:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,603
Hi Dotty, I used to be a competitive swimmer and I also have asthma but I found that swimming was one of the best activities that you can do to improve your asthma as it improves your lung capacity. I find snorkling a wonderfully relaxing activity that I could do all day every day. Take a few puffs first though because sometimes if you have not been snorkling before, or not often, it can be a bit claustrophobic and it is that which seems to bring on a mild panic which seems to start up the asthma cycle. Once your mind realizes that you can put your head out of the water and breath everything will be OK. Hope you get over it tho' and enjoy the water.
lizF is offline  
Sep 15th, 2004, 06:31 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 987
Dotty - I also think that you should be able to go snorkelling provided that you are sensible. As mentioned, make sure you have your puffers available, DO use them before you go in even if you are feeling fine at the time and inform the tour guide. By the way, although you do not appear to be considering a scuba dive, you are definitely not allowed to go diving if you are an asthmatic. I wouldn't advise anyone to use medication unnecessarily, but in view of the fact that you are about to go on holidays, perhaps consider going to the doctors and seeing if a couple days of prednisilone tablets to bring you back to your normal self is justified. Also, does your trip entail a long plane flight, this should be taken into consideration as well. I would hate you to be stuck on an aircraft if your symptons suddenly became worse. The airline would not take it well either if they found out that you knew your asthma was playing up before you boarded the craft. Sorry, not trying to scare you but just want to let you know about ramifications that you might not have possibly thought of. Hopefully your asthma is very mild and plane issues do not come into it. Just to reassure you, flying with asthma can be fine. About 2-3 years ago we flew from New Zealand to Melboure with my son immediately after he was discharged from Auckland hospital for asthma. His bout of asthma was still active but no longer acute and he had to attend hospital again once we hit Melbourne but everything went fine. There was absolutely no problem at all during the flight.
shandy is offline  
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