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Allergic w Exercise Induced Pool contradiction


I'm wondering if anyone else had a similar experience to me.


Allergies/Triggers - I had borderline severe to severe asthma as a child. I was hospitalized for it on at least a yearly basis until I was 9 or 10. I still have many trigger allergies to plants and molds. On rare occasion when I am cooking, I'll suffer an asthma attack.

Exercised Induced / EIA - Strenuous physical activity can be a challenge, especially in cold weather. When shoveling an inhaler always has to be on stand by. In the heat and humidity the same. For cardio, it's the same. I'd take my beta-blocker in advance 15 minutes before. I could generally make it for 5-6 minutes in any moderately strenuous activity without triggering. Cycling, Jogging, standing aerobics, punching bag, anything. I used to push jogging to 30-50 minutes hoping my asthma might get more manageable, but it did not. Having a larger lung capacity and being aerobically fit obviously do help. Low impact cardio generally triggers a mild reaction though at times it will flare up enough to that I'll be forced to stop or pass out.

Contradiction -- Swimming Pool. Humid environments tend to make breathing more difficult and has little to no effect on asthma. Yet. I could swim for long periods of time with maximal effort with minimal EIA. Some speculated it's the humidity, but if I exercise otherwise (not swimming) in a humid environment there is no noticeable improvement in EIA.

This leaves the chemical composition of the pool. It very strange since reacting chemicals in a pool usually trigger people's asthma or cause asthma rather then inhibit. This was in the early 1990s in a small school pool. The chemicals in our pool were strong and numbed the scalp to the point where we could pull out hair by the root easily without pain.

Has anyone else here had this experience besides me? What sort of chemicals in a swimming pools circa 1990s may inhibit EIA?

PS: I'm relatively certain that breathing in or being exposed to such chemicals on a continual basis would have a strongly adverse affect on long term health. Far greater then any benefit in inhibiting EIA.

  1. Hi WheezyMcGee, and thanks for sharing your 'pool contradiction' scenario with the community. I am hopeful others in the community will see your inquiry and respond by sharing their own similar experiences.
    Your experience has me puzzled as well! A chlorine-rich pool atmosphere has always spelled trouble for me. I could play in the pool all day but, when evening rolled around, my asthma breathing issues would start.
    I'll be interested to see what other community members have to share here with all of us.
    Wishing you well,
    Leon (site moderator

    1. It seems to defy conventional logic! I tried track and field in tip top aerobic shape after swimming was over and even the 400 meters was dicey without an inhaler. No matter how hard I trained and pushed myself through the wheezing it never made a difference to improve my EIA. I've tried a lot of different things over the years since. In near peak cardio shape I could never make it a mile jogging without heavy wheezing sans an inhaler. No matter what I did or how hard I trained. But in the pool, my EIA almost never bothered me even during strenuous 2 hour practices.

    2. I hear you, McGee! It is puzzling, that's for certain! I am glad to hear though, that your symptoms are responsive to the inhaler.
      As for the mystery with the 'pool contradiction' - I wonder if someone from the community will be able to join in the conversation.
      Enjoy the rest of the weekend!
      Leon (site moderator

  2. Asthma is chronic inflammation of the airways. The ONLY way to get it to improve is to treat the damaging inflammation.

    1. for being a really complicated disease it's pretty simple. The effects may differ but the cause is the same. Plenty of things give temporary relief but to treat EIA the cause needs to be addressed. The cause being inflammation of the airways.

    2. ^^This is not correct.^^ In many individuals with asthma there is bronchospasm, excessive mucus, and/or edema occur with little inflammation or well controlled asthma. Not everyone with asthma, especially EIA, should be taking anti-inflammatory drugs or steroids. For many people with EIA in particular, taking an anti-inflammatory drugs is ineffective and contradictory Your personal experience with asthma is not everyone else's experience.

  3. That's cute that you assume I base my comments on simply my personal experience, you have no idea that I have been reading research for decades. Really smart people with a lot of letters after their names would disagree with you. You do you , I wish you well and don't want to argue.

    1. Here's what the folks at mayo clinic have to say on the subject for anyone wanting more info on EIA. It's a good place to start

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