SCUBA diving has grown in popularity, with millions of divers enjoying the sport worldwide. However, people with asthma are generally advised not to dive. This advice is ignored by large numbers of asthma sufferers.
In a new study, Israeli researchers reviewed the scientific literature to evaluate the risks asthmatics take when diving.
They found that although there is some indication that asthmatics may be at an increased risk of pulmonary barotrauma (burst lung), the risk seems to be small.
Thus, under the right circumstances, they concluded that patients with asthma can safely dive without any apparent increased risk of an asthma-related event. They added that decisions on whether or not diving is hazardous must be made on an individual basis and be founded upon an informed decision shared by both patient and physician.
Journal Reference: Sade K et al. [Asthma and scuba diving: can…[PMID: 17476937]
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