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Scuba and HCM..


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Darren1 My real name is Darren, I have HCM and am a VERY active person that loves to exercise. Find out more about Darren1
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  • Scuba and HCM..

    Ok, here I go again.. I know this will rattle some cages but is Scuba any more dangerous for someone with HCM? Provided they don't exert themself more than normal?

  • #2
    Re: Scuba and HCM..

    I really don't know the answer to that. I have heard some people suggest that you always swim with a buddy so that you have backup if you get into trouble. I hope someone can answer you better than I.


    Husband has HCM.
    3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.


    • #3
      Re: Scuba and HCM..

      My ex-husband used to scuba and when we got married and talked about taking a trip so he could scuba dive, he was pretty clear that I wasn't going to be learning how to dive.

      He never said why, precisely --as in, this function or that lack of function or whatever.

      I think the main worry (besides the exertion) is fainting or other cardiac stuff happening in a place where you can drown, too.

      Talking to your doctor and a scuba instructor would be wise.



      • #4
        Re: Scuba and HCM..

        My husband was a scuba diver(proffessional) and I know that there are MANY things that can go wrong, you have to be so careful. I will ask him about the details when he gets home(he's camping with the kiddies).
        It is always recommended that you swim with a buddy, however if you run into trouble then you can't very well be much help for your buddy, maybe you could go with a group of 3 or more. I would think (with my very limited knowledge) that depth would be an important factor in making that decision.

        Take care
        It's not what you gather, but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.

        Dx in Feb/99. Obstructed. No ICD, no surgeries, no family history. 2 sons ages 14 and 6.


        • #5
          Re: Scuba and HCM..

          My brother and dad are both certified divers, so needless to say this was a big question when I went to see Dr. Maron and MHI. He said that anything i can not immediatly pull myself out of when i first feel symptoms is a bad idea. WIth scuba, if you're 100 feet under water and you have chest pains, you just cant STOP.

          So i wont be scuba diving.

          my dad goes scuba diving despite health problems...he is Epileptic and the people on his epilepsy forum think hes NUTS...but he can tell hours ahead of time if anything will happen..plus scuba for him isnt a high-stress situation and he only has seizures when hes overly stressed out.

          so thats all from me...heh...
          \"The heart swells at the magnificance\"

          1 timothy 4:12: Do not let others look down on you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.


          • #6
            Re: Scuba and HCM..

            Yes, the thought of having heart problems while under water is scary. It would definetly be more dangerous while diving. But then again, it would be more dangerous to have heart problems while...

            Driving, skiing, hiking, swimming, on a recliner floating in a pool, crossing a busy street, crossing railroad tracks, working in my yard at home alone, cleaning my garage alone... etc.

            It's certainly important to be honest with your dive partner and to know how high risk you are of having problems. If someone has had multiple heart attacks or other cardio problems, they probably shouldn't participate in most of the above activities. On the other hand, if they do not have a history of problems and the medical exams show normal EKG's, halter monitor results, etc. then why not?

            Most people with epilepsy cannot drive unless they have been seizure free for a period of time. I think the same should be true of other physical/physiological problems as well (including HCM/heart problems/high blood pressure). None of these should automatically disqualify someone from participating, but they all should be considered when deciding if someone can participate (especially if symptoms or "attacks" have occured recently).


            • #7
              Re: Scuba and HCM..

              Sorry Darren,

              Guess you just couldn't get a fire going under this one. Better luck next time.

              "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."


              • #8
                Re: Scuba and HCM..

                Hey Darren,
                I believe there are inflatable life jackets that would not interfere with scuba diving, but would bring you right to the surface in the event you had a problem. That would take a large part of the concern off you’re dive buddy, and get you out of trouble quickly – you could float on the surface until picked up by the dive boat. (Of course your dive buddy would have to come up with you.) Also, you might carry a red flag or something you could unfurl to let the dive boat know to come and get you instead of you swimming to them.

                This would limit your diving to a depth you could surface immediately from, but aside from that, it would control your exposure to HCM situations – and you could still have a lot of fun. Enjoy safely my friend.


                • #9
                  Re: Scuba and HCM..

                  Thanks Burton,

                  Actually, any diver can drop their weights and surface almost immediately. Of course, there are some serious risks to doing that (air embolism/"bends"). Even for a perfectly healthy diver. If they experience a problem and cannot get assistance from their buddy, then that may be a risk they have to take... (i.e. if an air source freezes or fails to provide air, then a controlled ascent is best, but may not be possible if the diver has just exhaled and has no air in his/her lungs to release on ascent). On the other hand, diving with HCM is a choice that must be made before entering the water. I guess it would compare more to keeping ones gear in top shape.. if your gear isn't in perfect working order, should you dive anyway? Well.. what component of your gear is not in perfect shape? Is it likely that the gear will fail? An old, used set of regulators are not neccessarily any less safe than some brand new super-duper looking ones (provided they have been tested and they appear to function properly). Very few sets of gear are in perfect condition (much like our bodies). Most have sand in their valves, slight corrosion in places, etc... for them to be safe does not mean for them to be perfect.


                  • #10
                    Re: Scuba and HCM..

                    "Sorry Darren,

                    Guess you just couldn't get a fire going under this one. Better luck next time. icon_confused.gif" -Jim

                    No fire desired. I do however like to discuss uncomfortable issues because most people are afraid to bring them up or to challenge common opinions. Without asking challanging questions, we have no "discussion". What good is a discussion forum where all topics addressed have been discussed and accepted? I believe those are called Encyclopedias (or maybe tutorials), not forums.


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