What It Really Means When Your Lungs Hurt After Swimming – Health Digest

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In more severe cases, pain in the lungs from swimming can be an indication of swimming-induced pulmonary edema (SIPE), reports the American College of Cardiology. The condition is characterized by a heightened state of pulmonary vascular pressure. Studies show the condition is often triggered in association with cold water swimming. A 2004 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine examined the case of a 36-year-old healthy male in training for a triathlon who was diagnosed with SIPE after he began to experience shortness of breath while swimming in open water. His respiratory distress reportedly worsened after he opened his wetsuit and exposed himself to the cold seawater. Experts at the American College of Cardiology explain that common symptoms seen in association with SIPE include labored breathing, cough, coughing up blood, wheezing, and tightness in the chest.

In the event that a swimmer experiences swimming-induced pulmonary edema, you’ll want to get the individual out of the water promptly and move them to a warm environment, advises the American College of Cardiology. Additionally, wetsuits should be taken off if they’re wearing one. As a potentially life-threatening condition, some cases of SIPE may require supportive oxygen or medication treatment.


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