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Antibiotics and freediving

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Pipe and Flippers
Dec 29, 2002
Does anyone know if antibiotics have an adverse effect on apnea?

I've just come back from Cyprus with a nasty double ear infection, and the doc has put me on a course of amoxicillin.

I know it's likely to kill off my useful gut bacteria, but is there anything else that anyone has experienced ( or knows of ) that relates antibiotics being detrimental to breath holding / freediving?

As a side issue, it's interesting to note that several competitors at the Cyprus competition were complaining of ear infections toward the end, and also that the LMC rate went up on the last ( static ) day. I don't know if there's a correlation there, but I'm blaming my wobble on it.
I'm starting to think that Apnea has a negative effect on Apnea! I reckon the large number of wobbles on the last day in Cyprus had a lot more to do with everyone simply being knackered than anything else... but yes there were a lot of ear infections around.

Don't know about antibiotics... but give it a break for a week or so anyway. You/we all did far more than enough last week..


(feeling crap with an infection of every part of every part of the body remotely related to freediving!)
I agree - I think everyone was knackered by Saturday and that coupled with the heat and probably dehydration had a lot to do with the amount of LMC's. If you think about it, the vast majority of them were during the afternoon, when it was hottest. And Mark, you probably had a temp as well because of the ear infection.....

Bad legs don't help with Apnea either :)

Hope you're better soon

Donna x
Thanks Donna, Sam. I hope your calf is now healing Donna.

Probably a good deal of truth about apnea being bad for apnea!

I hardly ever get ear infections, and train every week in the Richmond Bacteria Farm. But day after day of pushing hard statics could well have lowered everyone's immune systems.

Something more noticeable this year than last, due to the extra days available for training?
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Hmmm, my calf is badly torn according to the hospital, but good news is my achillies is in tact. I have to have lots of physio, no weight bearing at all at the moment so am back on crutches, I've been given gentle stretching exercises to do and wedges for my shoes when I do eventually get my foot on the floor so as not to over stretch the torn bit, so I think it will be a slow process, but you know me - I'll be back :D

Maybe the extra days training gave everyone the feeling the more static they did the better it would be. That coupled with the CW and dynamic - well I know I did more training last week than I would normally do, and I guess your body just says 'bugger off I'm tired' in any way that it can....

You'll be back on form very soon Mark - give your ear a chance to fully recover and then you'll be ready to kick some butt in Vancouver.....

Donna :)

Speaking from experience, antibiotics are hazardous when taken at intervals prior to freediving. I had been receiving light antibiotics for a gum infection a few summers ago and noticed that after 3-4 days it became impossible for me to freedive.

My physical reactions during apnea which act as a "gauge" telling me when I should come up, were completely suppressed. I simply felt no need for air and had to break off the dive from panic at what was happening.

I found myself almost falling asleep during a aspetto at 15-17m where I was waiting underneath a boulder for a 500g parrotfish to make an appearance. When I got to the surface I had the mother of all migranes and literally relied on my hands to get me, grabbing rocks and pushing myself along, back to the beach as I could not even stand to open my eyes from the pain.
I have had a terrible ear infection, and also my worst ever chest infection in the last few weeks, and it has taken me a while to get back to my usual static times. I don't know whether it was the antibiotics or the infection itself that caused the problem.

I have had a terrible ear infection, and also my worst ever chest infection in the last few weeks, and it has taken me a while to get back to my usual static times. I don't know whether it was the antibiotics or the infection itself that caused the problem.
Hey is it the cart or the horse? I can tell you with my experience of doing about 200 breatholds with an oximeter, that an infection can really take down my O2%. Sometimes it is a predictor about what is to come. Some days I think I am will be able to have a good dry static, only to find that my SaO2% started lower than normal and fell faster than normal. Within two days I have cold/flu etc..

My most recent infection and antibiotics course came from an infected belly button. About 3 months ago I thought I bruised the stomach on the side of belly button loading my speargun. It was sore to the touch for the whole three months, although most of the time it did not hurt if I didn’t touch it. I noticed my SaO2% becoming less and less. A couple of weeks ago it starting really hurting and felt very similar to hernia I had a few years earlier. I was just sure my summer diving was finished and I would be having hernia repair surgery, but thank God it was just the belly button. My mother used to get after me for not cleaning it when I was child. It took many years, but I eventually had to pay for ignoring her. :naughty

Anyway, 3 days after starting the antibiotics my SaO2% starting coming back to normal. Today (a week after finishing the course) I set a new PR of 6:10. So in my opinion an infection is much worse for freediving than the antibiotics.
It almost sounds ( from the experiences of Baur and Don ), that a course of antibiotics might have some prolonging effect on apnea ( albeit in a negative way for Baur ).

Or is it just the effects of resting the body after an infection?

As long as it doesn't make things worse, that's my main concern.

Hope you've got over your bugs now, Lucia.
Hi AltSaint,

I am feeling much better now, and my static times are as good as ever! I can't wait to do some dynamics, as all my buddies have been in Cyprus for the last few weeks.

All the best

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