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Sudafed

Discussion in 'General Scuba Diving' started by Harvey-NG, Apr 24, 2018.

  1. Harvey-NG

    Harvey-NG Member

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    So, diving with decongestants...

    I recently missed another dive due to a cold, I wasn't exactly ill - that had passed - but I still felt blocked up and unable to clear my ears.

    I've never taken decongestants and dived as it's not widely recommended, but some guys I know absolutely swear by it, providing you're not really ill (which throws up other matters way past blocked sinuses). So, question is, what do people feel about it?

    Ok if you're just a little bit ill?

    Ok if you're recovering from a cold?

    Never ok, why the hell would you take medication before a dive?

    My thoughts now are that it's ok if you're just freeing up sinuses but not actually ill, and providing you've taken the medication before and are aware of what effects it may have on you. However, issues:
    1. If the medication wears off it could cause a reverse block.
    2. Pseudoephedrine / phenylephrine can increase risk of oxygen toxicity, especially in high dosages

    As always, I appreciate everyone's views!
     
  2. Wibble

    Wibble Fish don't talk
    UKD Supporter

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    Forcing your ears to clear when descending isn't a good thing as you can force mucus into your middle ear - took about 6 weeks for mine to clear up (my body absorbed it).

    I'm not a fan of Sudafed as it makes me feel rather spaced out.

    A reverse block is very bad as you're ultimately going to have to choose between breathing water or bursting your ear drum/s.
     
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  3. becky9

    becky9 Diving bore!

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    Know someone who had a bad experience on 100%. Tbh I use it myself occasionally, but never on high Po2 and hence no real deco obligation either. x
     
  4. Dave Whitlow

    Dave Whitlow Well-Known Member

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    As I've mentioned before, I've found menthol BP and steam quite effective in shifting persistent blockages, and also as an early treatment to avoid things getting congested in the first place.

    I have also being guilty of reverting to Sudafed and Sinex to enable dives. When doing so I've been sure to top up any treatment soon before diving, to reduce the risk of the drugs wearing off during the dive. However, just because I have done it does not mean I recommend it :)
     
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  5. Harvey-NG

    Harvey-NG Member

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    These were my thoughts about the whole oxygen toxicity thing, only use it on low po2 dives, certainly nothing with accelerated deco or rich nitrox mixes.
     
    becky9 likes this.
  6. JasonP

    JasonP Member

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  7. toby43

    toby43 New Member

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    I use Actifed and a nasal decongestant before I dive. I have researched this extensively and there is no evidence to suggest unreasonable risk with either of these.
     
  8. JohnL

    JohnL Well-Known Member

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    Just sipping an elderflower and echinacea tea. I take echinacea pills in the days running up to a dive - it seems to keep the pipes clear, or maybe I'm just lucky.
     
    Nick Ward and Harvey-NG like this.

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