Medical Forum
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Posted : November 30, 2009
I qualified as an open water diver last year but since I have been diagnosed with asthma.
I am currently on inhaled steroids specifically seretide 500.I have refrained from diving since the diagnosis and I am wondering if there is a possibility that I will be able to dive again. Thank you kevin

Posted : November 30, 2009
Thanks for your e-mail Kevin.

The bottom line with asthma of any variety is that it needs an initial assessment from a diving doctor.

This may seem harsh if it doesn't affect you too much now, or it was only a brief childhood problem, but the reason is medico-legal. No doctor will put their name to a cert saying you are fit to dive unless they have seen you.

The examination is straightforward and most asthmatics who are well controlled, irrespective of inhaler use, pass as fit. If there is any sign that exercise may be a trigger for the problem, then an exercise test is needed, on top of the usual spirometry.

So please arrange an appointment with your local dive doctor or call us on 0207 806 4028 for a "fit to dive" appointment if you can get to London.

Dr O Firth

Answer provided by Dr Oliver Firth
Dr Ollie Firth
Additional Comment

Posted : January 28, 2010 by - kevink
Thank you for answering my first query.i have spoken to my consultant about the possibility of diving and he cannot answer that question due to his lack of knowledge on the subject.he did however ask if i could let him know what the criteria for passing an asthmatic would be.
Since i last posted i have seen a marked improvement in my wheezing with it now becoming a faint wheeze.I believe that i am well under way to getting my asthma under control.the question is how do i know?

Thanks again
Additional Comment

Posted : January 28, 2010 by - Dr Oliver Firth
Hi Kevin

There are specific risks attached to diving with asthma that really require someone with diving medicine training to explain. There is some guidance from the British Thoracic Society on respiratory aspects of fitness to dive, which can be found on their website. Your consultant might find this useful background information, but I would suggest that you see someone with diving medicine experience to certify you one way or the other.

Kind regards

Dr O
The views expressed by Dr Firth & Dr Jules are their own and the publishers accept no liability for the advice and views expressed by Dr Firth , Dr Jules, or other users, which are provided as a general service to divers. Users are warned that secondary posts are the views of other users and may not be medically correct.
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