Scuba Diving with Asthma, Yes can be achieved with the doctors permission!!

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Scuba Diving with Asthma, Yes can be achieved with the doctors permission!!

Post  mykez on 29th September 2014, 1:32 pm

The perspective on asthma and diving has begun to change among dive medical practitioners. If you are an asthmatic you may be able to pass a dive medical without denying you suffer from the condition. This means you can dive with more confidence, manage the risks, puff away on your medication prior to a dive and be amused by the looks you receive from others.

The catalyst to this change was a study in 1990 by Farrell and Glanville but attitudes started to change particularly after 1995 when the Undersea and Hyperbaric Society held a symposium on asthma and diving. Although I have found many dive medical examiners are still conservative given legal concerns, there are those who are confident enough to assess you and make an informed judgement.

The first step you will need to take is having a bronchial provocation test, this will give an indication as to how your lungs will respond to inhaling compressed air from a scuba tank. Previously the test involved inhalation of a vaporised saline solution I believe. What is now more commonly used is a drug called mannitol. This is administered in the same way you inhaling asthma medication and given in progressively in larger doses. This is continued until the point at which exhalation measured through a spirometry drops below a particular point. Asthma medication is then administered and lung function will return to normal quite quickly, this is the reason why this in now preferred to saline solution.

If you’d like to know more about the process, where to go and who to see don’t hesitate to send me PM cheers
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mykez

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