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Thread: Trouble taking deep breaths after swimming... Why?

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    Trouble taking deep breaths after swimming... Why?

    I can't seem to find anything at all about it on the internet. It's always been a problem for myself and others that I know as well. After being in the water for an hour or so it starts... Taking any more than a shallow breath is uncomfortable and usually makes me cough. It will last for a few hours. I always thought it was the chlorine and after reading here, thought maybe it was the CC from people not taking care of their pools.

    I was in my pool for the first time this weekend for about an hour, on and off. I noticed this very problem although it was quite minor - just enough to notice that it would start to be an issue after some more time in the water. I checked my FC and CC and got just 5ppm and 0ppm. I spent almost 100% of the time just floating on the water. It's an outdoor pool as well.

    Anyone else get this? Anyone know what causes it? I think it may be a problem after a day in the lake as well (although I haven't been in a while) so it may not even be chlorine...
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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble taking deep breaths after swimming... Why?

    It's definitely not chlorine, I've gotten that after a day in the lake as well.
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    Re: Trouble taking deep breaths after swimming... Why?

    Gotta ask---------what was the water temp and air temp?
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    Smykowski's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble taking deep breaths after swimming... Why?

    I want to say it has something to do with overexerting the diaphragm. I used to get it all the time when I swam very sporadically at a lake during the summers. In the last few years I've been swimming for exercise, and I haven't gotten it in awhile.
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    Re: Trouble taking deep breaths after swimming... Why?

    I think smykoski has it right. You tend to take deep breaths and hold it when swimming. It's common the first couple times swimming of the year to have sore diaphragm muscles. It shouldn't persist all season long though.
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    Re: Trouble taking deep breaths after swimming... Why?

    Water was 72-73F and the air was 85-90F. I didn't really do much in the way of odd breathing... as far as I know... I just laid around on the floaty chair.

    I'll keep at it though and see if I can find any connection between anything.
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    BoDarville's Avatar
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    Re: Trouble taking deep breaths after swimming... Why?

    Another part of the equation is that whenever anyone does a different form of exercise that they haven't done in a while, different muscle groups are exercised which will result in getting fatigued quicker. This is true even for those who are in relatively good shape and exercise regularly but do the same workout over & over because the human body adapts to that routine. Once you change up the routine (such as going swimming for the first time since last season), it stresses the body in a good way which can initially result in getting fatigued more quickly. This will subside if you keep up the swimming.
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    Re: Trouble taking deep breaths after swimming... Why?

    Haha I see this got moved to 'The Skimmer Basket' the... 'catch all' for other topics... clever! I don't think I noticed that before.

    I'll just have to do some "research" tonight and see if the symptoms occur after only laying around in the water. Normal breathing, no exercise - just being close to / in the water - to rule out chemical triggers.
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    Re: Trouble taking deep breaths after swimming... Why?

    Sounds like Exercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction (EIB). Or perhaps, in your case, Non-Excercise-Induced Bronchoconstriction (NEIB) (Full disclosure: I made up that second one.)

    There was a study done in 2004 By Dr. Arthur Williams of South Africa, and presented at the American College of Sports Medicine's annual meeting. It was actually his dissertation for the Master of Philosophy degree in Sports Medicine.

    He called 1.0ppm chlorine "High levels" and 60% of the participants (Trained swimmers) suffered from airway constriction as opposed to only 20% at .5ppm (He called this low levels). 20% is about the same as no chlorine, and poolside exercise.

    He used 41 "well-trained swimmers", 21 with a history of EIB, and 20 with no history of EIB.

    All dissertations read the same though...

    "Blah blah blah blaz bazz blalz zzzzzzzzzz"

    Conclusion: The higher incidence of EIB after swimming in pools with a higher range of chlorine indicates that closer monitoring of swimming pool chlorine levels is important for all swimmers to prevent EIB.

    Of course, there's always the general statement in all dissertations "Further investigation into the long-term effect of chlorine exposure and the incidence of EIB is required."

    Just thought I'd throw this out there if you want to talk to your doctor about it.

    The actual dissertation is at http://uctscholar.uct.ac.za/PDF/112841_Williams_A.pdf if you can't sleep tonight.
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    Re: Trouble taking deep breaths after swimming... Why?

    Interesting! Although, I don't have any symptoms like this after non-water exercise...

    Last night I floated around with no physical exertion log enough to get sunburned but had no problems breathing afterward.
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