Anyone find that swimming (in chlorinated pools) affects your lungs?

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  • Anyone find that swimming (in chlorinated pools) affects your lungs?
  • rob jackson
    Member

    +1 thought it was just me!

    samuri
    Member

    Block up your holes.

    Not all of them. When I used to swim a lot my nose would run for ages afterwards. Getting a nose clip fixed that problem (I always wear goggles when properly swimming).

    You don’t look great with one on though, it has to be said. Don’t know if this will sort you out though.

    surfer
    Member

    Yes Chlorine affects Asthmatics, my daughter is a good swimmer and an asthmatic unfortunaltely

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    Block up your holes

    How does that stop the chlorinated air getting into my lungs? I still need to breathe…

    samuri
    Member

    I still need to breathe…

    You didn’t tell me that.

    My problem was the actual chlorinated water itself, rather than the air, getting in my sinuses. As I said, I’ve no idea if you have the same problem or not.

    Keva
    Member

    I’m a fairly regular swimmer, no problems at all with chlorinated water.

    nealglover
    Member

    I’m a fairly regular swimmer, no problems at all with chlorinated water.

    Just for balance, no problems here either.

    I haven’t been swimming for 30 years though. πŸ˜‰

    ricdiggle
    Member

    Interesting – recently started swimming 5 times per week and have been wheezing for the first time in my life. Good to know what’s causing it. It passes very quickly for me and have to say, it doesn’t affect my performance AFAIK.

    OT: Have you tried swimming crawl with a pull bouy? Helped me a lot when i first started. I could only do two lengths at first and can now swim a mile in 26 mins.

    mogrim
    Member

    I don’t have any problems with chlorinated water – do you get it if you stick to breaststroke?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    First point here, I don’t have asthma

    Sure? Cos you seem to be having some symptoms. It can randomly develop as a reaction to certain things.

    Maybe switch pools? The spangly modern one I use doesn’t display any smell or taste of chlorine – not like in the old days.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    First point here, I don’t have asthma

    When I was at school, I’d always get into a real mess when I tried to swim front crawl. My breathing would get out of synch, and I’d take paniccy lungfuls of air, and end up in in quite a lot of pain.

    More recently, things have improved as I’ve calmed myself down, although I still struggle to swim more than a few lenghts of crawl at a time (although I can do breatsroke for miles)

    What I have noticed though is on the days I take my sons swimming, I spend an hour or so just bobbing around in the water with them. Afterwards, my lungs are screwed:, it really hurts to breathe deeply. Yesterday I went for a road ride after swimming and it was plain nasty.

    Quick google shows there’s been some research into this and its not uncommon for the chlorinated water to trigger mild asthma-like symptons.

    So, any advice how to avoid this, other than not swimming?

    Premier Icon mintimperial
    Subscriber

    My uncle is allergic to chlorine. He’s not asthmatic as far as I know. When he was at school in the 60s the teacher forced him to do a swimming lesson even though they’d been told he was allergic, and he had a severe reaction and ended up hospitalised with pneumonia. He now comes over all funny if he’s just in the same room as some bleach or something like that, so obviously his only method for dealing with it is not swimming.

    I suppose if you were full-on allergic like him but still really wanted to swim, you could do it by sticking to non-chlorinated water (i.e. freshwater/ocean). Brrr.

    toby1
    Member

    I too get the streaming nose and sneezes after pool use, so I go to the gym or outdoors instead.

    brakes
    Member

    my lungs are sensitive to chlorine but I’ve only noticed it as a reaction to using cleaning products with bleach in (presuming it’s the same thing?) in the form of mild discomfort. my wife thinks I’m just trying to get out of cleaning the bathroom.
    I’m also crap at swimming – I can’t get my breathing right – but I put that down to poor technique. I wonder now if they’re related.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    you seem to be having some symptoms

    Maybe i do then… πŸ™

    Just done 15 mins of hard breastroke (best not google that…, fnarr fnarr)
    Lungs feel fine.
    Had a think about it though. When I’m swimming like that, I’m breathing hard and steadily, so getting regular cycles of air in my lungs. When I’m swimming crawl badly, one of the problems is managaing to exhale correctly, which links in with the bobbing about doing nothing in that I guess to my non-medical mind, means the air is sitting in my lungs for longer.

    Maybe switch pools

    No choice here, and the one I go to is only a few years old anyway.

    I guess the solution is going to be get some proepr swimming lessons for crawl, and maybe when I’m in the the boys, keep my head way out of the water (research implies the its the air just above the surface that gets you) and try and do a bit more activity

    andyl
    Member

    The glands in my throat swell up after swimming in some pools and I feel all hot. Never googled to see if it was common tbh.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    It seems (after googling) that asthma is a sort of general condition that could have lots of actual causes, but the definition includes the word ‘chronic’.

    So if you only get it in response to chlorine exposure then you’re probably just sensitive to it rather than asthmatic πŸ™‚

    Anyway, I’ve got a couple of tips for swimming which helped me go from the type of crawl you describe to a reasonable effort:

    1) Breathe every other stroke. I was taught to do every 3 or 4 strokes, but this gets too hard after a couple of lengths. There’s no shame in doing every other. To ensure you alternate sides properly, always look at the same side of the pool when you breathe – this means you alternate actual sides each length of course.

    2) Get your trainers on and run 8x200m flat out sprints with 30s rest on a flat piece of ground a few times. It’s absoulute murder, but it’ll increase your lung capacity so much that you’ll never get out of breath doing anything else! Well, it did with me anyway. Cycling is only limited by the pain in my legs, and it’s far easier to control my breathing in the pool now.

    mogrim
    Member

    I guess the solution is going to be get some proepr swimming lessons for crawl

    Certainly well worth it, swimming is one activity where technique is massively important, and time invested in learning has a huge impact.

    glasgowdan
    Member

    I get this and it is a mild asthma that never surfaces other than in this situation therefore I don’t consider myself an asthmatic. Asthma is just a narrowing of the trachea and bronchioles causing breathing difficulties and can be stimulated by lots of things.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Re lessons, I just read around and studied the many videos on the internet. Very informative. That’s not to say I couldn’t improve with lessons of course, but youtube is free after all πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    OP.

    Couple of pointers.

    Get a pull buoy for your legs. 2 if necessary. It will aid you floating which is normally the problem with with people trying too hard kicking and with strokes to stop afloat. Very small gently kicks if it helps your rhythm.

    Slow down your stroke rate. Look to do 16-18 strokes per 25m length. Long slow strokes concentrating on smooth technique.

    You mention you get in a mess with exhaling. All of your exhaling should be done with your face in the water during strokes. Look at the bottom of the pool about 2m ahead. When you turn to the side to breathe it should be inhale only. You will have to practice on how many strokes is best for your lung capacity and controlled exhaling. Don’t try to take big gulps of air. Just enough for the amount of strokes you are going to do.

    I still struggle to breathe correctly on the left side. But its got a lot better with a few 1-2-1 lessons on stroke improvement.

    Premier Icon Kona TC
    Subscriber

    Been an Asthmatic since I was a toddler

    Use to swim with school 8 yrs old up to 14 yrs old, with no problems, however taking my children swimming in my late 20’s /30’s I suffered really badly, breathing difficulties, runny nose red eyes, stuck it out for several years until I could suffer it no more, thankfully the kids grew up and could go swimming on the their own.

    I did ask the local council what chemicals they used in the local pool and was it different to that used 15+ yrs ago.

    The council chap was a bit evasive, but it seems that the type of chemical used changed over time as water standards improved and swimming pools could be operated without extensive filtration plants and maintenance engineers for a lot less money

    mogrim
    Member

    Re lessons, I just read around and studied the many videos on the internet. Very informative. That’s not to say I couldn’t improve with lessons of course, but youtube is free after all

    Better than nothing, but Youtube’s not standing by the side of the pool pointing out where you’re going wrong. It also won’t force you to try different strokes, it’s very easy just to stick to the drills you enjoy if you don’t have an instructor telling you what to do…

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Yes, not argung youtube is better than lessons. But it is better value for money, that’s my point. And you can do it whilst bored at work πŸ™‚

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