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Asthma Safety & Swimming Pools

[ I love Vani's cute covered swim suit, but, yeah, food in the pool :0 yuck! LOL! ]

Those of us with Asthma know that it comes with a boat load of responsibilities, and summer ( or year round depending. on where you live) pool time can be both enjoyable and frustrating to the asthmatic lungs! Combine this with living with allergy and sinus issues it can spell a recipe for health disaster! ...Or not, let's find out! :()

One major component for asthma and allergy activity in swimming pools is the addition of Chlorine. It's necessary for the addition of this chemical to prevent the growth and spreading of bacteria and other germs in pools, it also helps to keep the water clean.

Chlorine reacts with the organic matter that it comes in contact with; that matter being body fluids like sweat, spit, nasal {goodies LOL}, poop, and general dirt. Yep it's pretty gross when you take time to think about it :() So all of this mixture creates sort of a toxic 'people porridge' that begins to emit gas into the air, and that's where the strong chlorine smell comes from. Those gases are also responsible for our allergic reactions like asthma flares.

[ :() ]

Indoor pools are more likely to emit a stronger cocktail of gas because outdoor pools of course, have greater ventilation. Now, let's get some clarity, chlorine is NOT an allergen, so you can't be allergic to it, but you can be sensitive or have reactions to it, especially if you're indoors, and the warmth and humidity only magnifies the chlorine smell and gases.

[ Who's felt like this? Story of my life! :() ]

Sometimes what you believe to be an allergy to chlorine may be developing asthma, or even exercise induced asthma.

That skin reaction or stuffy runny nose could be undiagnosed allergy problems so it's important to check with your doctor.

[ If both these ladies have asthma - pool issues, what are they at the pool? LOL! at least Vanessa is prepared with her inhaler! Smart advise about NOT sharing asthma inhalers!! :() ]

Those of us with asthma and allergies are naturally more sensitive to the pool chemicals and our immune system will respond with the inflammation of our cells that line our sinuses and our airways, sensitizing the respiratory tract. In fact studies have shown that swimming frequently in chlorinated pools as well as exposure to chlorinated cleaning products ( in the home ), could increase the development of asthma and other respiratory allergies.

[ This woman is realizing that she may be having chlorine sensitivity issues! Ha ha!!]

Breathing Symptoms to look for with chlorine pool sensitivities are:

Skin sensitivity to chlorine are:

Make the time to visit your health care provider if you suspect that you or a loved one may be chlorine reactive. [Particularly a board certified allergist] who can perform tests and diagnose the symptoms you are experiencing so that you will be able to continue to enjoy summer time (or any time) pool activities.

Make sure to seek immediate medical care if you are having or have recently had any pool related breathing reaction. For skin issues shower and wash the affected areas with

water ( a pure soap if you wish ), to remove all traces of the skin irritants, such as pool water containing chlorine, or cleaning products. Topical medications may be prescribed or an antihistamine. The main point is to get treated as soon as possible, and cease any pool activity until you have been treated. The sooner proper treatment has been made, the sooner you or your kids can return to splashing the summer away!

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