Chlorine effects on asthma sufferer

Hi everyone, I'm a newbie.

My daughter 20, qualified recently as a lifeguard, but suffers greatly from the chlorine in the pool. It gives her red, sore eyes. Makes her sneeze incessantly, and has given her a really bad cough which worries me greatly. Is there anyone out there in a similar position who can give me some coping tips I can forward to her? Any suggestions to ease her suffering would be very much appreciated.

17 Replies

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  • i can get effected by chlorine too but only after i have been out for an hour or two, i can get very drowsy and sneezy i dont cough much but i dont really have any coping tips, because i just put up with it i guess, i let it do what it needs to do and wait till symptoms settle. sorry this isn't much use xx

    but good luck i hope people on here will give you tips and ways to cope.

    maybe take antihistimine or if it affects her asthma take her inhaler before going in the pool don't give up swimming though because like many asthmatics exercise can be a struggle, so swimming is a gentle one to do and will still keep you fit and can help with improving your lungs.

    take care x

  • Hi, I spend 2 hours plus training in the pool 6 days and did/ do suffer from similar symptoms every now and then. I take my inhalers prior to training. In addition, I take herbal Bio Glycozyme Forte and Phytocort for allergy. Whilst I am in now way recommending, but it may be worth seeing a Nutritionist. They were highlighted when I had my session with her a couple of years ago and have since certainly assisted me with the Chemical tank (pool) as we call it.!

  • Thanks for the advice Stealthman. I wouldn't have thought of a nutritionalist, but it makes sense to consider it, if improving her diet will boost her immune system.

  • Hi. Sadly you are spot on, its not so much the chlorine in the water, but more the gaseous vapour it gives off. Chlorine in its natural form is a gas !! I used to swim a lot, but my athsma just go worse and worse. Now I walk instead and swim in the river or lake. I did find some oxygenated pools also

  • Hi Garyocean, I'm not dismissing what you're saying or have experienced, but in my daughter's case, she's definitely the worse for wear after she's been in the pool, as opposed to working poolside. She's not prepared to throw in the towel just yet, so is considering some of the suggestions put forward by previous respondees.

  • Allergies are not a sign of a weak Immune system. They are actually a sign of a superior and overactive immune system.

    That is why immune suppressing drugs like corticosteroids, anti histamines and mast cell stabilisers are given.

    Anyway, it still is not a baed idea to see a nutritionist.

    I also have back allergy towards chlroine. If strong chlorine, typical of treated swimming pools gets into my throat- I get terrible irritation (throat sore) that can last for weeks.

  • Thanks Dotpro. I didn't know what you said about the immune system, but am always open to learning new things, so keep the lessons coming!☺

  • I also suffer from chlorine, to the extent that eventually my eyes started to prickle the moment I entered a a building containing a public swimming pool. As others have said I find other ways to exercise now.

    That said I have managed to use out of doors swimming pools (presumably because there is much more natural ventilation the effect is nothing like as bad), but even then I have to avoid putting my head under the water unless I have goggles and a nose peg I can use.

  • Thanks MaggieHP.

    Unfortunately, being a lifeguard is my daughters job. A job which she really enjoys. It's not just a form of exercise, so she wants to try everything she can, to eliminate the chlorine problem before considering a new line of work.

  • The only thing that I have found that works is a nose peg and goggles, but I suspect both might be a bit impractical if she's needed for a life saving operation. I would suggest trying to get work at outdoor pools, but I suspect work there is seasonal and even that doesn't solve the problem of after effects from being in the water.

  • Lol😂

  • Hi, Nose clip for water, definitely.!

  • Hi there :)

    I've experienced similar problems with my asthma from chlorine. At the time I wasn't that invested, so I changed sports without much trouble. Reading the above comments that doesn't seem to be an option for your daughter. Firstly: she should go see her doctor about the coughing. Not managing her asthma will only make it worse, and potentially end her career as a lifeguard. Secondly: my friend used to be a swimmer, and experienced severe asthma problems as a result. However, as other people has mentioned, things improved a lot when the pool area became better ventilated. If your daughter is able to choose between different pools, that's what I would recommend. Out-door pools/beaches/lakes are obviously the best in the warmer seasons. If it is possible to talk to the pool owners about improving the ventilation, that might also be a good idea :)

    I wish you and your daughter the best of luck!

  • Thanks Calelo. My daughter has just begun a course teaching toddlers gymnastics, so that'll keep her away from the pool for a bit. Regarding increasing the ventilation, that might be a difficult thing to convince the bosses to do, but will give it her best shot. Perhaps it'll be easier as the weather gets warmer. Will keep you posted.

  • My daughter is seven and is a real water baby. She's made the local swim team, and swimming is great for her lung function. But recently some swimming pools do seem to be triggering her asthma.

    We give preventer inhaler before she swims , and then after until we know she's ok.

    Also some zirtek before she goes in.

    Lately I've been also asking swimming pools what their combined chlorine (or total chorine) levels are and water temp.

    From what I can gather, for her, cooler pools, and combined chlorine levels around 0.3-0.4 mean she's usually ok. Above that and she struggles.

    (The unfortunate thing for us is that one pool refuses to give us readings before she goes in. Not a story to continue on this post though.)

  • Back in the days when I got the same issues my mama came up with the antihistamine or inhalers before going to the pool. I have heard about herbs also works best in these situations

  • Hi

    Only just spotted this, my son is 8 and he reacts to the swimming pool. For his swimming lessons we increase his antihistamine, takes his blue inhaler before the start and is covered in barrier cream. Straight after the pool we take him home and pop him straight into the bath. We really want him to learn to swim, but it isn't great for him.

    Last time I was at the pool (not even in the water) I reacted so badly that my GP says to avoid it so now my husband takes my son swimming.

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