ASK DAN: Can I Dive with Asthma?

I recently made plans to take an open-water course with my fiancé, but I have asthma and am worried about whether it is safe for me to dive. I do a great job managing my condition in my daily life, but I know that scuba diving carries its own medical considerations. What should I know before I start diving?  Can I dive with Asthma?

You’re not alone. A huge percentage of the questions we receive at DAN concern diving with asthma. As a chronic lung disease in which the breathing tubes (bronchi) narrow in response to various stimuli — including cold air, exercise and other atmospheric irritants common to divers — asthma understandably poses a risk for people wanting to breathe compressed gas underwater. The primary concern for asthmatic divers is suffering an asthma attack while diving.

Dangers to Divers
All divers experience reductions in breathing capacity due to the effects of immersion and higher gas density in the water. At 33 feet below the surface, for example, the maximum breathing capacity for a healthy diver is only 70 percent of what it is at the surface; at 100 feet, breathing capacity drops to approximately 50 percent.  Read More