Last reply 6 years ago
Scuba + MS = ???

I was scuba diving recently and had a sudden vertigo moment. I was diagnosed a year ago with RRMS and it didn’t occur to me that perhaps the depth or the compressed air could bring on a sudden and intense symptom like that. Maybe it wasn’t either of those things and it was just a loss of balance like I have now and again on land, but in the water, it was a completely different ballgame. It was really scary.

Sorry for rambling. My real question is: Are there any Scuba divers out there diving with MS that have any advice? Or is diving with MS something that is known to not be advised?

New to shift, hope this is the type of thing I can ask here. Thanks for any feedback ya’ll might have!


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6 years ago

Hey! Welcome to the site. Every questions about MS (or even non-MS related) is welcome here! This is a site for people to rant/vent, ask questions, get advice, and just communicate with other MS’ers.

Kuddos to you trying suba diving. Something I’ve been always interested in. At the moment, just getting into the pool gives me terrible vertigo. Can’t imagine actually diving.
I’m guessing that it should be something discussed with your MS team to get medical advice on that activity. If it effects you with sudden and severe symptoms that could make the situation dangerous, then its probably not the best idea. But I don’t think there are probably any rules on that activity specifically. MS effects everyone differently.

6 years ago

One the one hand, being in water = very good for the muscles. I could never learn to scuba, but with me,its cuz of epilepsy….
You run into problems with insurance, health and saftey bollocks etc. For THIS reason you ought notify insurance and also alert anyone you are diving with. At least then if something happens – they know whats happening and can help!

6 years ago

@Chels – Thanks. I’ve been diving for years with no trouble. But this was the first dive since my dx, and wham, I’m hit with a scary vertigo moment.

@reddivine – My dive buddy (my uncle) knows about the situation, so if there is trouble at depth, he would be the one from whom I would need help. The problem with getting insurance involved is, I’m sure, they would just tell me no diving. I hate that that is the case, but perhaps it would be for the best.

6 years ago

I know @gpeps did a load of scuba diving recently, I’m sure he will have something to say…

6 years ago

Afternoon @mmmark
I have done my PADI and Advanced Diving and never had any issues.

More problems out of the water than in it to be honest – I dived when I lived in Malaysia and the heat was a killer! In the water was the best time!!!

6 years ago

Hi @mmmark welcome to the site. I tried out scuba diving last autumn while in Indonesia. I was unsure if I was going to okay so just did an introductory dive to see. I loved it straight away. Although you needs a fair bit of energy for the actual swimming and more if strong currents, I found it do relaxing and peaceful – no one can talk!

I signed up for the open water course straight away. After a days rest we then did the advanced course. With hindsight this was too much – 5 dives in 2 days was is exhausting!

To answer your question, i think diving is fine for people with ms as long as you’re a strong enough swimmer and cope okay with the breathing equipment. Id definitely make your instructor and buddy aware.Insurance was a little extra but they were fine with me having ms and diving. As @scotkiwi says there is nothing better than being under water when it gets hot.

Talking about it makes me want to go again! Go for it

6 years ago

Hi, I dive a bit and since my diagnosis about a year ago I always feel anxious about something going wrong. I get dizzy above ground every now and then, but I’ve always been ok in the water. I’m not an advanced diver, so I only go down to a maximum of 18 metres. I haven’t been able to dive in the UK since my diagnosis as, according to my consultant, you have to be relapse free for 12 months before they will give you a Drs note. It’s got something to do with the bens (not sure how you spell that) mimicking the symptoms of MS. I know its a bit naughty, but when I go abroad I don’t tell the diving company. At the end of the day I guess it’s my risk….. Although I’m not an expert, I wouldn’t have thought that the diving contributed to the dizziness, you may have felt the same way above water at that point in time!

6 years ago

@mmmark Depends how much you love diving. Balance doing something risky, but with NO insurance IF something goes wrong. Or being insured BUT risk being told, No diving!
But definitely inform the dive buddy or anyone yr diving with. Be a tragedy if something happened and they did not know what to look for with you!

6 years ago

Yeah, I’ll see how things go. Thanks all for your thoughts!

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