Can I go surfing when suffering from Asthma?

Many surfers suffer from Asthma and if well controlled there are no immediate issues, though a good understanding of your illness is very important to avoid major trouble during sessions. Cold air, exercise, inhalation of water may set of wheezing and difficulties breathing (medical jargon bronchospasm), which may lead to severe distress and has lead to fatal drowning incidents among surfers.

When seeing your doctor it is important to explain you are frequent in an ocean environment, this will aid to create an appropriate Asthma Management plan tailored to your Surf Life Style.

Currently I am suffering from a flare of Asthma, what should I do?

  • Avoid Surfing if you are needing your rescue medication more frequent
  • Wait at least 48 hours until your return to baseline
  • If you are in doubt, even when it is pumping!!! avoid going out!
  • If not responding to your normal Asthma management plan, seek urgent medical care.

Surf Travel & Asthma

  • Inform your travel surf buddies that you are asthmatic. As Surfers we travel to the most remote places in the world to score waves, it is essential your buddies are able to recognize and help if needed
  • Avoid travel to remote areas, if you suffer from very brittle asthma, means needing frequent hospitalization or ICU admissions
  • Do not forget to PACK your inhalers when travelling, ensure you have enough for the time you are planning your trip

Please let us know if you have more questions or want to share your experiences with Asthma & Surfing, we love to hear from you.

Answered by, Dion van de Schoot, MD

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