Just what I found out about it.Many thanks to Scubadoc for helping me out there.
The main problem that might be seen with scuba diving with MS is that many of the symptoms of MS are similar to those of neurological DCS, such as, patchy numbness, pain over peripheral nerves and fatigue. This would make it very difficult for a diving doctor to examine you and properly diagnose and treat an early case of DCS. Early diagnosis and treatment are necessary for best results with recompression treatment for neurological DCS.
This having been said - it's going to be very difficult convincing divers not to return to diving if they had dived previously. I am not aware of any studies concerning the effects of pressure on the demyelinating effects of MS, nor am I aware of any ill effects regarding the use of certain medications for MS. If the diver is not taking drugs that alter the consciousness then there should be no problem in that area.
As long as a diver is no danger to him/herself and poses no danger to her buddy I would have no problem allowing diving, particularly if it were done in warm waters with little stress and at no-deco depths. As far as I know, there are no pluses or minuses in regard to the effects of pressure on the demyelinating process. You should be aware however, of the possibility of delay in diagnosis should you ever have a problem with decompression sickness. Have all neurological deficits recorded in an up-to-date fashion in the diver's log book---just in case!
Diver's Alert Network has the following to say about MS: "This immunologic disease occurring in young and middle-aged people is characterized by episodes of neurologic dysfunction, often separated by remission. The extent of disability is quite variable. Treatment has improved in recent years.
Fitness & Diving:
1. There is no evidence that diving in itself has an effect on the disease. About 20 years ago an unsuccessful effort was made to treat MS with hyperbaric oxygen. Patients neither suffered nor benefited from this treatment series.
2. Persons with MS are advised not to exercise to the point of exhaustion and to avoid becoming chilled or overheated. Diving candidates with MS should respect that advice.
3. In each individual case, consider whether the candidate can handle the physical load and master the water skills. Diving candidates should talk to their neurologist about diving.
Idealism is what precedes experience; cynicism is what follows.
Thank you so much for this answer. It's is quite hard to find informations about MS and diving...I found about the same. Anyway, it's not told, that people suffering MS have a higher risk than others (see also: dive and drink)! I am glad to hear this...as I go on then. Good health to all of you guys; you don't know what you have in your hands, until you loose it!!! Happy bubbles to all and again thank you for the research.
I very good friend of the family has MS and he dives. I'd guess it depends on what your doctor says. His told him that as long as he felt up to the physical activity to do it - as the disease may progress to the point where he can't dive any more. I guess his doc has the outlook of do what you can as long as you can.
The best thing is to talk to your doc & see what he/she says about it, and give your doc the information that knotical posted - so he/she can be as well informed medically as he/she can.
Post by teddybeardiver on Mar 14, 2006 17:19:15 GMT -5
Hi I have just joined this forum and read this thread.
I am a UK PADI instructor. I was diagnosed with MS about 15 years ago. I have "benign" MS which general means that I have 3 or 4 mild sensory only attacks in the 15 years.
In the UK we have to pass a HSE medical and the doctor who performs mine each year keeps an eye on my flexibilty and as long as that is okay and the type and frequency of attacks has not changed I am fine.
I learnt to dive AFTER being diagnosed and it has never stopped me doing anything I wanted to do.
I make sure I and my buddy are aware of how I am feeling BEFORE I enter the water, although my condition is very stable.
I hope this has been of help and get in touch if you want any further help or info.