Recreational scuba diving can be an enjoyable sport and safer than many other activities. The risk of diving is increased by certain physical conditions, and the relationship of certain medical conditions may not be readily obvious. Therefore, it is important to undergo a health screening.
The physical examination focuses on conditions that may put a diver at increased risk for decompression sickness, pulmonary complications or other conditions that could lead to drowning. The diver must also withstand some degree of cold stress and be able to equalize your ears during rapid pressure changes.
Some pulmonary conditions that may complicate your ability to scuba dive include:
- Asthma or reactive airways disease
- Exercise induced bronchoconstriction
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
If you have any of the above conditions, it does not mean you cannot scuba dive but you will need to work with your medical provider to ensure that your condition is well controlled. They will likely want to do a pulmonary function test or spirometry to evaluate your lung capacity.
Other conditions that can impact your diving ability include:
- Chronic rhinosinusitis infections
- Allergic rhinitis
- Nasal congestion
- Nasal polyps
- Eustachian tube dysfunction
- Severe gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Cold induced urticaria
In these cases, your medical provider can help you resolve these problems with medication interventions and other treatments to prevent inner ear and sinus injuries while diving.
Your board-certified allergist can discuss all of these conditions with you and work on the best treatment strategy with you so that you can be safe and enjoy the sport of scuba diving!
Call 208-377-4000 to schedule an appointment today.