Asthma UK community forum

Swimming and Asthma

I have asthma, bronchiectasis and aspergillosis. When I am well I start going to the baths and then maybe a month later I have breathing problems again. I recover don't go to the baths for several weeks, return and the cycle starts again. Don't know whether it may be related to chlorine in the baths having a delayed reaction. The professional verdict seems out on this but I did read on the web that chlorine mixed with urine, skin cells and other nasties ugh! produces a chemical called trichloramine which can cause irritation in the lungs. Would like to know anyone else's experiences. Thank you.

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Hi there - I have a similar collection of issues to yourself (Asthma, bronchiectasis-type issues + ABPA). I've never spoken to anyone specifically about swimming, but my understanding is that Aspergillus can be a big problem (I presume because of the damp) in & around swimming pools. When I first started looking into ABPA, avoiding them was listed somewhere or other as to be avoided generally.

Beyond that, chlorine is a definite trigger for asthma, & the other reaction, although not something I've come across before, certainly sounds plausible.

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Just to add to this - there's an excellent Facebook group for aspergillosis sufferers, run by Dr. Graham Atherton (I think he's pretty much the UK's top specialist on it). There's a public group, but also a private one which gets used a lot more - let me know if you want details.

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Yes please and thanks for replying. Was put on Xolair 2 years ago but it has not made a big difference in the long run so they are taking me off it in May. I take serevent, spiriva, montelukast, pred when necessary and of course ventolin. I am not well at moment; I don't wheeze and am just short of breath. I was in hospital for 12 hours and had tests. My lungs are clear, bloods fine and chest x ray. My sats 100%, my heart rate settled down and still I had difficulty breathing. They always ask if anything is worrying me. I am only anxious when I can't breathe! My peak flow has gone down but not to a danger level. They have put it down to a virus and increased my steroids, whether this nasal drip at the back of my throat is a factor, I don't know. Looking on the internet, and a lot of people have high sats and are still unable to breathe.

Thank you for the info. about dampness and swimming pools and ABPA.

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The public group is here:

facebook.com/groups/aspergi...

And the private one here:

facebook.com/groups/Aspergi...

Drop me a message if you have trouble accessing them.

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Thanks so much.

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Hi, my first obvious asthma attack was swimming at school. I react badly to chlorine, sometimes it triggers my asthma sometimes asthma plus hives. I avoid swimming pools as I can be ill without getting in the water.

My son is effected by chlorine too. He was able to complete swimming lessons using barrier cream and antihistamines and using his salbutamol before and after. He washed as soon as he got home after too.

If I have a strong reaction to something my symptoms will sometimes flare up again hours later, usually during the night.

I hope you get to the bottom of it all xxx

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Would imagine damp, warm communal areas in Swimming Pools are exposed to lots of bacteria, viruses etc (plus no doubt some of those bugs can survive in the pool itself). Just have to imagine all the kids that use the facility (as kids get tons of infections). If that’s correct, you might be picking up infections that are resulting in your post visit symptom increase.

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