Swimming and asthma

Okay so I wrote a little about this in my triggers post here. But I wanted to do an individual post on this as there isn’t much information about chlorine allergies on the internet.

So I used to swim competitively for about 4 maybe 5 years and I never really experienced any issues with chlorine apart from one time when lifeguards seriously over chlorinated the pool and everybody was coughing.

In February 2012 I started working at a swimming pool teaching kids how to swim and I couldn’t understand why pretty much as soon as got on poolside I would start coughing and within ten minutes be wheezing real bad, I can cope with coughing and wheezing but what really scared me was just how short of breath I was, after an hour I could hardly even talk in full sentences. This was one of the main reasons why I went back to the doctors and got diagnosed with asthma.

I told my asthma nurse my problem in July and she said it was quite rare but she thought I was allergic to chlorine. So I was given a ventolin inhaler which has improved my symptoms but it still only gives me about 10 minutes of relief, and that’s even when I have been taking my inhaled steroids and LABA. So I have decided that on the 30th, when I next see my asthma nurse I’m going to see if there is anything else I can take in addition to help improve my symptoms further, even half an hours’ worth of relief would make a huge difference. If there is nothing she can give me I think I will have to stop swimming and teaching swimming.

Every time I visit a pool, my peak flow drops to around 55% or thereabouts, that means my peak flow hits 55% 4 days a week, alright its only there for about 2 hours but it is still hits 55%. This is dangerous and it has been going on for too long so unless I can control it, I’m going to have to find a new hobby and a new job.


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