Do Asthma and Swimming Mix?

Do Asthma and Swimming Mix?
By this point, our readers should know that swimming is an incredible exercise. But do asthma and swimming mix? Today’s post will go over this medical condition and whether or not taking a dip is advisable.

What is Asthma?

First, let’s talk about the basics of asthma. In a nutshell, asthma is a common chronic inflammatory condition that affects the lungs and airways. A person who suffers from this condition can have difficulty catching a breath in certain conditions. Typically, these conditions can include breathing fumes, in humidity, during vigorous exercise or around heavy pollen. It makes sense that people wonder whether asthma and swimming mix.

Start by Consulting a Medical Professional

Let’s start with a basic disclaimer. As always, we strongly advise that you consult a medical professional. Internet research can be great, but all of our bodies are unique, and there are varying types of asthma. Be sure that your doctor has provided a proper diagnosis before you hit the water.

Yes, Asthma and Swimming Mix 

As this section’s title suggest, yes, generally asthma and swimming mix. In fact, swimming can be a great exercise for kids and adults with asthma. It can offer numerous health benefits. As we’ve written in the past, swimming is an excellent cardiovascular exercise. It works multiple muscle groups at once while improving lung capacity.

Beyond this, current research doesn’t show any evidence that swimmers with asthma should be worried. In fact, there is quite a bit of evidence to show that the health benefits of swimming with asthma far outweigh the risks. The best bit of advice is to always keep an inhaler handy next to the water and to stop swimming if you begin to experience fatigue or feel an attack coming on.

As always, practicing moderation and paying attention is key to swimming safety. 

Potential Hazards of Swimming for People with Asthma

Unfortunately, there is one area where swimming and asthma may not mix. When it comes to chlorine, there is a possibility that some people are allergic to the pool cleaning chemical. Additionally, the fumes from the pool chemical can cause harsher reactions in people with asthma.

These reactions to chlorine can be even worse for swimmers with asthma. In this case, people with asthma might also have the following symptoms:

  • Coughing, especially at night, with exercise or when laughing
  • Trouble breathing
  • A tight feeling in the chest
  • Wheezing/a squeaky or whistling sound
  • Runny nose
  • Itching
  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose due to blockage or congestion

To prevent the possibility of chorine allergies and asthma, consider using an alternative to chlorine, such as bromine or a saltwater pool. These options either swap the potentially hazardous chemical for another, or severely limit the amount of chlorine used. They can be immensely helpful for anyone suffering with asthma.

To learn more, read our full article on chlorine allergies. 

Once Again: Talk to Your Doctor

To wrap up, we’d like to reiterate how important it is to speak with your doctor. No amount of internet research can substitute for a medical professional taking a close, dedicated look at your unique case. The advice of a doctor, on a case-by-case basis, is the best possible advice on determining whether asthma and swimming mix.