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OW swimming and asthma

OK yet another question from me today - the computer is doing a calculation so I've got lots of spare time

I have fairly mild asthma that is generally well controlled, I do take my inhaler before I train.

I have just started OW swimming and have been going in the evenings. I realise that the mild panic/restriction in the chest when wearing the wetsuit in the cold is pretty normal and will get better with time but the next day I do tend to feel somewhat wheezy and I wondered if it is pollen on the water and if anyone else had had the same problem or knew how to alleviate it.


  • risris Posts: 1,002
    my asthma is mild and controlled as well, but i've not tried an OW swim so don't know if it will affect me like it does you.

    i find it interesting that you are getting wheezy the day after, which would seem a bit odd - if the cold is going to set it off then i wouldn't expect there to be a delay! you could be right about allergen exposure(perhaps pollen - do you have a history of hayfever?) but again i'd expect it to happen at source. each person's asthma is so different though

    do you have a preventative you take morning/evening?
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    I haven't had that but I have had a very sore throat the following day or 2 after all (3) of my OW swims, which may be down to the same thing - or not i could just be a bit weird
  • durhamvamdurhamvam Posts: 246
    Yes I do have a preventative, I think the panic thing is really just anxiety and tension - which I suffer from anyway, particularly in the pool if I get hurried. I can't really blame the cold since the water was quite warm this week and last week it was 24 C!! I didn't have a problem then though.

    I'm not sure if I felt a bit wheezy the night after the swim - might have done but it was really noticeable trying to get up the big hill on my morning commute the next day. I am slightly allergic to grass pollen though. I just thought it might settle on the surface of the pool during the day.
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408

    I have asthma bad and I would really recommend getting in the cold water with suit on before your first race. I didn't due to various reasons and I was wheezing like hell. I never recovered from that and more or less had to take my asthma attack while on the bike/run.

    I forgot my inhaler on the run and some kind man gave me his blue inhaler, without that I would've had a full blown attack.

    I came out the water really wheezy and I took my blue one but it didn't really help. So I would strongly recommend getting used to it before then so that you know what to expect and how to deal with it.
  • durhamvamdurhamvam Posts: 246
    Yep, I didn't mean "pool" I meant settle on the surface of the lake/puddle that I'm OW swimming in!

    I'll keep on practising - at least you can't sink in a wetsuit. I'm just slightly worried about when the water gets colder it's pretty bath like at the moment - is there anything about from practise I can do to make that easier?
  • JellybabyJellybaby Posts: 180
    I tend to find that it's the restriction of the wetsuit that does me in. I always try to fully suit up 5-10 mins before race starts, and possibly getting in too. this tightens up my airways and then I take my blue inhaler and I'm fine for the rest of the race. I carry inhalers on the cycle and run. Usually i'll have a puff at the end of the race and then no problems the following day. Stupid asthma, it's really irritating
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    The thing that really got to me was that I was 23 when I was diagnosed with asthma.

    I had been wheezy for about a week and I thought I had a chest infection. Got an appointment at the docs and was told I was asthmatic. No explanation given just some steriod pills, blue inhalers and brown inhalers.

    It really peeved me off that i could suddenly have asthma. I found that when I was explaining to people that as an adult I had grown into asthma, there was a stigma to it. Even when I was working, having had a few serious attacks, people refuse to believe how serious it is.

    I now raise money for asthma to try and raise awareness for it but I believe that stigma will always be there for what can be a debilitating condition. I have to carry my inhaler everywhere, as my asthma is excercise induced. This may make doing triathlon crazy but I totally refuse to let it stop me. As I mentioned before I carried out through the last my last triathlon suffering from my asthma as in the heat of the moment I forgot my inhalers.

    So there we go, a history of my asthma..... I'm a sad person!
  • TesseractTesseract Posts: 280
    I can top you - I was 37 when I was diagnosed!

    I've been training/ exercising in various forms since about 15 with no problems. Had a chest infection, that I couldn't shake, and eventually went to the docs, when they determined I'm asthmatic. Bit of a shock, and I still can't quite accept that I was fine one day, then not the next.
  • durhamvamdurhamvam Posts: 246
    Good for you S11. I was diagnosed as a child and I've got used to it now but it's still a pain and can be very frightening. I didn't have a problem for years until I moved to NZ and then it got really quite bad and I nearly had an attack swimming (apparently Auckland is asthma capital of the world).

    Have you got a good asthma clinic at your GP? They are normally run by specially trained nurses and are generally really good and helpful. It might be that you could benefit from some of these new one shot does it all slow release inhalers - can't stand them myself and prefer to stick to a separate brown and blue one but they suit some people.

    I wouldn't let it stop me doing stuff mainly because I'm stubborn but I do pay attention to where my limits are. Lots of top sports people suffer as well and the fitter you are the higher your chest capacity and the easier life will be. Swimming is great for improving that as well. I'm much more limited by my back injury than my asthma
  • durhamvamdurhamvam Posts: 246
    Guys, having a diagnosis doesn't change anything, you had the asthma before but now you know what it is and can do something about it. Don't be depressed it's just something you have to get on with

    look on the bright side you'll get an extra 10% performance if you take your inhalers and you should feel better, fitter and more able generally (I get really depressed as well when my asthma is bad).

    Just don't move to Auckland
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408
    Yes, got the slow release inhalers. Generally they are ok but still always need the blue one.

    The asthma clinic at my local gp's is ok, but sometimes I think you want the reassurance from a GP but they fob you off to the asthma clinic.

    i've tried the singulair pills but they're not brilliant, get the same effect as the slow release inhaler

    I'm too stubborn to let it stop me, I'm convinced that I always need to finish something, it would take some attack to stop me from completing a triathlon.

    I don't get depressed about it, I can control it not it controls me. At the end of the day I have asthma and whilst it may kill me it won't stop me from doing what I enjoy doing.
  • durhamvamdurhamvam Posts: 246
    I'd rather see a nurse than the GP normally - but perhaps that's just me!

    I won't let it kill me but it's never really stopped me - slowed me down yes but halted me no. Not even horse riding when I'm allergic to horses

    You're right though people don't realise how serious it can be in general. My ex-boyfriend had it really bad and used to be hospitalised about once a year, in the end I expect it'll kill him.
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