Reduced exercise tolerance is common for those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and poses risks for diving. There can be strenuous activity involved with managing currents, swimming on the surface in choppy seas or pulling yourself and your heavy gear up a ladder and onto an unsteady boat. With COPD, shortness of breath during exertion doesn’t mean you are out of shape; it means you cannot rid your body of carbon dioxide and replace it with the oxygen needed to meet the demand of your exertion.
Q: During dive training in the pool, I couldn’t breathe after clearing my mask with my regulator in my mouth. After surfacing, I took six to eight wheezing breaths and then could breathe normally again. It’s possible I inhaled water during the exercise, but my instructor and I could not recall when or how that would have […]