Blackout Swimming

  • Kohaku

    Posts: 87

    Jan 03, 2008 7:56 AM GMT
    So, I have a problem. Swimming is fun and a great way to spend the day! I'm no athlete when it comes to swimming, but I've never had this problem before.
    Lately, I've been passing out when I swim in deep water. It's happened three times at this lake, and two of the times were nearly lethal. Luckily, I was saved those times, had CPR, hospital visit, the works. The third time I had a friend on my tail the whole time, so when I passed out, he was there in a second.
    I don't understand what's going on. It only happens in deep water. It's really starting to bug me, and I haven't swam in deep water since the third time.
    Anyone know what the hell is wrong with me?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 03, 2008 3:50 PM GMT
    How deep is thje water you are swimming in? It seems to me like the pressure is causing a circulation problem. It seems like something pretty serious. I can't imagine what might happen if you were alone. You may want to get checked out by a doctor and keep away from deep water.
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    Jan 03, 2008 5:11 PM GMT
    It certainly sounds like an activity to avoid, at least until a doctor can give you clearance to resume.

    I assume that you mean that this happens when swimming at the surface, and not free-diving or something. Are you breathing normally or are you somehow failing to discharge enough CO2? Maybe you are sub-consciously hyperventilating. If you find yourself in such a situation again, maybe you should concentrate on breathing properly.

    It's probably off the point, but when free-diving, increased pressure can cause nitrogen narcosis, and it can be worse in cold water. For most people, the effects are only noticeable at depths close to 100 feet, and only after several minutes. So it usually only happens to SCUBA divers or extreme free-divers. Usually you start out feeling a little bit drunk, but in extreme cases unconsciousness can result.
  • ajlclimber

    Posts: 337

    Jan 03, 2008 7:26 PM GMT
    Like the other guys said.. see a doctor about this...

    but from what I am hearing.. it sounds like your body is not equalizing as you go farther down in the water.. so the pressure is having the effect of crushing you.

    When you go into higher altitudes, do you have problems with your ears popping?
  • Kohaku

    Posts: 87

    Jan 03, 2008 7:27 PM GMT
    Yeah, I should have specified that it was always surface swimming for the most part. No extended diving or anything like that.
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    Jan 03, 2008 9:26 PM GMT
    I'm no expert on swimming. But the symptoms certainly sound similar to those occurring during a case of "shallow water blackout" -- a phenomena sometimes experienced by free-divers (particularly by the more experienced ones) who hold their breath too long. One characteristic is that apparently there is no clue (like a narrowing of vision) that gives any kind of warning that one is on the edge of blacking out, or that one has experienced a black out.

    If that's similar to what you've experienced, I would agree with the suggestions of the previous respondents that it could be a breathing problem. Causes could include not only poor breathing technique, but also a subconscious increase in anxiety (with a corresponding increase in the rate of oxygen consumption and perhaps further deterioration of your breathing technique) as you move into deeper water.

    Anyhow, you might want to Google on "free-diving" and "shallow water blackout" and get a more complete (and first-hand) description of what it is like to experience it and compare that with your experience(s). Then if you find there's simularity, perhaps look for a doctor with free-diving experience.
  • lifeat84

    Posts: 54

    Jul 24, 2008 5:06 PM GMT
    Best advise i have for you is to keep your head up so you can breathe and dont let your head spin from side to side, you may be having inner ear issues (i use to do this when I ran, id stop breathing get dizzy for a moment and then blackout but still run for a dozen paces or so...scared the hell out of my hs soccer coach when i ran into a goal post...)