The Vestibular Disorders Support Community
Read our welcome post, user support wiki & visit our member recommended products page

Swimming

Today was the first time in ages I’ve swam laps at the indoor pool at my fitness complex. Swam for a solid 20 minutes nonstop. Felt great in the water. Right after i got out, though, i felt really carsick. Now it is about 45 minutes later, and the carsick feeling is mostly gone, but my ears feel stuffy and they’re ringing. I know there’s no water in them because i know what that feels like, and this feeling is quite distinct. :smiley:
Anyone else have positive or negative reactions swimming?

In the pool I feel great, think its all the motion going on around you that makes the symptoms go away. Same as if I get on a boat. Getting out of the water or out of the boat can definitely stir up some symptoms. I don’t think this is an unusual symptom at all. As a matter of fact last year, I would get in my pool just so I could feel " normal" for a bit!

I had the same exact experience and sadly will never go in a pool again. It was wild in that I felt 100% normal, and strangley enough, for about 20 min afterwards. The ground felt flat. BUT, and this is a big BUT… all hell broke loose for about 6 hours after. I never felt such violent rokcing and motion in my life.
This was why my doc thought my 24/7 symptoms and rocking were part of the Mdds syndrome complex (his words). He still thinks my other symptoms are MAV though.

I used to get this getting out of the pool, I reckoned it was the movement of head side to side until one day, when I took my daughter in the pool, I didnt swim, but felt the same when I got out, I put it down to the chlorine.

Christine

I had the exact same reaction on Friday. I average 8 miles of swim workouts a week. (However, due to almost a year of severe disequilibrium (as well a a dozen other symptoms) I had to stay out of the pool in 2010.) As one of my posts says, after a recent plane flight, I have felt nauseous, off balanced, plugged up ears, ringing like crazy in both ears, and tired for the last two weeks. When I went to the pool on my first day back home, I had motion sensitivity in the water and was exhausted because I felt like I was swimming in an ocean. It’s better this week, however, the last swim on Friday left me feeling really off the rest of the day, even though i felt pretty good in the water. There’s no rhyme or reason.

Swimming in a pool is a no-no for me as well. I already feel the swimming like motion in my head already so no need to double the fun. (I am just kidding when i described it as fun) :slight_smile:

Joe

Thanks for the comments. Yeah, didn’t really take into account the head movements and other sensory stuff, like chlorine and noise. I am very head motion intolerant btw. I do think one thing that will help is to get my eye dr. to give me prescription goggles, as i’m not comfortable wearing contacts and regular goggles in water…and swimming blurry isn’t much fun either. :frowning:
Butterflygirl, is fly your favorite stroke? (just curious as to why that’s your username, since you have swum loads in the past) :slight_smile: Mine has always been breast-stroke.
Repeated the same experiment earlier tonight and felt slightly better upon exiting the pool, so we’ll see!

Yes yes yes. Was an experienced, regular swimmer and when MAV struck Jun2011 exactly all this happened to me. Rocking, car sick at the end of the pool after only one lap etc.

However I am back in and swimming 1-2 ks once or twice a week. MAV or no Mav I found myself at a pool with kids and proper coaches regularly so had some time to experiment, particularly if I had a bit of time after to 'recover". It was definitely the head movement that brings you undone :cry: (but not the same). Some days it is still not perfect after(and maybe I’ll never know why?). So if you love swimming there are some things you can try.

— Begin quote from "alternaace"

Thanks for the comments. Yeah, didn’t really take into account the head movements and other sensory stuff, like chlorine and noise. I am very head motion intolerant btw. I do think one thing that will help is to get my eye dr. to give me prescription goggles, as i’m not comfortable wearing contacts and regular goggles in water…and swimming blurry isn’t much fun either. :frowning:
Butterflygirl, is fly your favorite stroke? (just curious as to why that’s your username, since you have swum loads in the past) :slight_smile: Mine has always been breast-stroke.
Repeated the same experiment earlier tonight and felt slightly better upon exiting the pool, so we’ll see!

— End quote

Hi, before I had Lasik surgery, I wore contacts with goggles. Just be sure your goggles don’t leak. :lol: Fly is my favorite stroke, although I learned it very late in life (in my 50’s!) yet have to say, it’s a stroke I’m proud of. My worst is freestyle. As soon as I streamline into the stroke, I feel too floaty - just not balanced in the water. Turning my head to breathe is not the problem, I think it’s laying flat in the water that presents imbalance feelings. I agree that MAV has helped in that it’s forced me to keep my head as stationary as possible except when I need to breathe, so it’s helped my strokes. I watch some people throwing their heads wildly about trying to breathe, crisscrossing the arms, and wonder how in the world do they not get dizzy?

I’ve always felt heaps better in the water whether I’m swimming laps or just bobbing about. I have a theroy that it may be orthostatic intolerance as the bouyancy helps the blood flow around normally. I had a tilt tale test which came back positive yet I’m yet to get any help with it except told to increase salt and water! I’m confused as to whether I might have pure anxiety, MAV (strong history of migraine with aura), or orthostatic intolerance?

Also I usually feel really weak afte swimming but I’m a good swimming with a good stroke so I don’t feel weird turning my head to each side.

Swimming’s my main regular exercise. Often I get nauseous part of the way through my ~mile routine, and as I continue I get a little reflux, but if I slow down for a bit, I get over all that and can finish not just the lap but the set and the routine.

Sometimes, also, I get brainfog, space out and lose track of what stroke I was using, how many laps I’d done, even where I am. If I’m in the locker room by the time I’ve sorted myself out, I quit for the day. If I’m still in my lane, I finish my routine. This is far more likely to happen if it’s an MAV sort of day, weatherwise. I can’t be sure this is MAV, but my neurologist has no suggestions–and he’s done scads of tests.

David, you swim a mile :shock: Well done, I only manage something like 4 x widths, I am useless, I think I could swim for my life if I was on the titanic when it went down, but otherwise, I find I can only swim on my back now or my back hurts, so I tend to swim on my back kicking my legs and keeping my head still, probably look a complete pratt, but I am planning on giving it a go again. When you mentioned the brainfog, I remembered feeling that but thinking it was the chlorine again. Do you feel fatigued when you get out, I used to feel really really tired.

Christine

Hi Christine, don’t be discouraged. I started out with a lap or two, then added on a few more, then one day I found I’d swam 1/2 mile nonstop. It was all uphill from there! I swm 2 miles a day now, 5 days a week. When I’m having MAV symptoms, I can feel very wiped out afterwards. Overall, out of all the sports I engage in, I sleep the soundest after a day that I spent swimming. It can be a fantastic workout, but is also very relaxing.

If it helps you sleep, I am doing it. Tired of being awake most of the night (suffer terrible insomnia). Be worth splashing up and down just for that.

Christine

David, do you wear ear plugs when you swim? I’d love to start swimming laps to change up my workout routine, but I’m worried it would bother me.

This thread is so encouraging to me!

I am very hopeful to get back into swimming sometime. My symptoms of MAV (I think it’s MAV) started this summer after starting more intense swim workouts. I went from 1800 yard easy freestyle paced swims to 3000 yard intense coach trained swims using all the strokes and lots of drills. I felt really fatigued/brain fogged for 24-36 hours afterward and stuck with it twice a week all summer thinking that I’d improve… Ha…ended up with all this MAV stuff instead:) I love swimming though and when this settles down a bit I think I can ease back into it, thanks to these comments!

Luna, do you do flip turns? I stopped doing them for fear of setting my crystals flying. That might be a factor.

Also, I swam outside all summer. No grogginess, no lightheadness, no stuffiness. Now, back indoors, and all those “allergy” like symptoms have returned. I’m fairly certain it’s the chlorine and whatever other chemicals they use indoors. Did you swim outside during the summer?

Hey Butterflygirl,

Yes, it was a big 100 by 50 yard outdoor pool.

I did do flip turns too, and we did all kinds of drills that were new to me: breathing off different sides, lots of kicking and having to look up off the kickboard, different times of rotation while swimming, and lots of one handed strokes. All new body positions for me.

A few people have mentioned the chlorine, even my new neurologist the other day. It could be a factor, and I should look more into it. For me I bet it was a lot of things: the change in my sleep pattern (getting up at 5:30 was so hard!), and exercising with those crazy drills for over an hour on little food. I also didn’t listen to my stubborn body and kept it up even when I was fatigued. To make it worse, I increased consumption of all the most common migraine triggers (caffeine, cheese, nuts, bananas, deli meats) to get quick protein and energy those days.

When I do get back to more gentle swimming I will definitely avoid flip turns…too bad b/c they are so fun! I am so happy to read about all of you having success with swimming!

OMG, I love flip turns, they also cut down your times, right? :mrgreen:

I miss running and flip turns. I didn’t realize bananas were a trigger. I always eat half a banana prior to working out. love it with my bran cereal.

I do all those drills too - the one arms drills, rotation drills, kickboard drills, just no flippies for me. what exactly did your neuro say about chlorine? that it affects MAV?

Ahhh…the flip turns and then the push off afterward were such fun.

Swimming makes me feel like flying and also like I’m a kid:). I loved the “shooters”, too…doing 25 yards underwater with fins doing dolphin kick. I bet I could still do those! I can’t wait to get back to the pool!

Re: bananas. I read in “heal your headache” that they can be a trigger, especially if they are getting brown/older. It said to limit to 1/2 a day. Sounds like it is fine for you.

My neuro doc didn’t say anything specific about chlorine, but since swimming seemed to be the most obvious trigger for me, she was just musing out loud, I think. I keep meaning to look into it more, and I’ll ask her when I talk to her tomorrow.