How to Dive With Asthma

How to Dive With Asthma
Doctors and divers around the world have widely varying opinions on whether people with asthma should be allowed to dive. Those who advise against it say people with asthma are more likely to suffer serious injury such as embolism during a dive. Those who favor it say the concerns are merely theoretical, and that divers can thrive even if they have the breathing disorder.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Spirometer
  • Spirometer
Step 1
Talk to your doctor. Having asthma does not necessarily mean you can't dive, but it might mean that you shouldn't. The answer for you depends on how severe your asthma is, and what causes it to flare up. Diving certification requires several tests, but your doctor is best qualified to tell you whether you're fit to dive.
Step 2
Consider where you might want to dive. Diving is a worldwide passion, and regulations vary by locale. For example, according to the Divers Alert Network, people with asthma can dive in England as long as they have not needed a bronchodilator for 48 hours and do not have asthma that comes on as a result of cold, exercise or emotional excitement. In Australia, divers must pass a lung-function test just to receive certification.
Step 3
Test your lung function before you dive. If your spirometer reading is below normal, don't dive.
Step 4
Practice general safe diving guidelines. These include diving with a partner, breathing normally during ascension, planning a dive and adhering to the plan, and diving sober.
Step 5
Test your lung function after you dive. If it is not normal, diving may be too risky for you, according to the California Thoracic Society.

Article Written By John Zaremba

John Zaremba began writing professionally in 1997. He has worked at some of the country's finest small daily newspapers, including "The Beacon News" and "The Patriot Ledger." Zaremba is a graduate of the University of Illinois.

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