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Lung squeeze - what now???

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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M

mlairhart

New Member
May 26, 2005
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Pete,

Any suggestions for increasing FRC breathhold time enough to be able to relax and get some good FRC diving depth? Or did you just build it up by practicing FRC dives? I am lucky to get 60 seconds on empty lungs which at your suggested descent rate (0.5 m/s) would only get me to 15 m (assuming equal ascent rate).

Thanks in advance for the advice.

Matt
 
laminar

laminar

Well-Known Member
Aug 13, 2001
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Hi Motek,

If you still have pain with a 100% inhale, then I would not do any diving or FRC training. You should have no pain and doctor's clearance to get back in the water. I found that FRC helped me AFTER I had healed at least 2-3 months after my injury. Everyone's body is different, though, so err on the side of caution.

Hi Matt,

Usually my ascents on FRC are faster than 0.5m/s, usually around 1 m/s or more. An important point about FRCs is that you should employ the mouthfill (fill once at 8-10m and use only that air for the rest of the way down). FRC practice also helps you develop a highly effective mouthfill without the stress of being deep. Using the mouthfill in concert with a slow descent also helps protect the lungs from diaphragm stresses (in my opinion).

As far as breath hold times in FRC, I would recommend diving without a suit is the simplest way to increase effectiveness of exercise (after Seb Murat's theories) and making sure that you exert yourself as little as possible in the descent.

Cheers,

Pete
 
M

motek777

New Member
Sep 12, 2004
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Peter, i stopped FRC, stoppen f...... everything. i tried working out with really little weight, tried to live as i did before freediving but even like this it still hurts. hurts like hell. hurts from walking, from sleeping on my wrong side, from making love...
but i just cant stay in bad on sit on a chear all day for months..
 
Wishbone

Wishbone

Paragraph aquanaut
Jan 13, 2002
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Motek...
It's the third year since my accident and I still can't sleep on my left side and have the same nasty pains. My opinion is you should go to a chest doctor (pulmologist eng?) and consider together a CT scan...
 
Mermaid24

Mermaid24

Mermaid26
Jul 2, 2005
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is there any way to tell if you are soon to get a lung squeeze? Can you have symptoms before hand so you know to back off some?
 
A

Alun

Well-Known Member
Oct 5, 2001
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during the dive you might really feel pressure on your chest. that's normal to a degree, but if it feels really uncomfortable then you may have a strong negative pressure in your lungs. after a deep dive exhale fully and listen (carefully) to any wheezing at the very end of your exhale... this is usually indicative of some fluid in the airways/lungs. also -you are much more susceptible to lung squeeze if you have contractions during your dive, especially at depth. you have to try to keep your torso relaxed and develop tolerance to any urge to breathe.
 
Mermaid24

Mermaid24

Mermaid26
Jul 2, 2005
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Alun
I am sorry I took so long to reply. Thank you for that answer to my question. I haven't ever been lower than 40 feet yet but if I do ever get there, I will know what to watch for. Thanks a million !
 
A

Alun

Well-Known Member
Oct 5, 2001
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i've not heard of anyone getting lung squeeze shallower than 75feet. it usually occurs below 100-130ft. don't worry about it unduly. if you progress slowly and understand what causes the problem then you'll be fine.
 
M

motek777

New Member
Sep 12, 2004
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Mermaid24, a day before the squeeze occured i felt slight pain in my lungs right after a turnaround at 100 feet. that moment i had a strange feeling that it was my heart(?). Probably i should have quit diving for the day but i didnt.

Any discomfort in your chest and especially in your lungs should make you aware.
my accident happened 3 month ago. the pain since then is almost totally gone. finally i can take a full breath without feeling any pain. only thing worries me is the oftenly felt hampered respiration. its not too bad, but sometimes i feel like i cant take a full breath. i really have to concentrate to make it full. i hope it will be gone by time.
 
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trullalla

trullalla

New Member
Jun 23, 2005
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alun,
i recently meet one freediver who had a lung squeeze diving at 20 mt. he said he had no contractions, it was a short and comfortable dive, and he took a full breath. he was not diving from the day before, and he did several repetitive dives to 15 mt. he did a course few months ago, and got to 30 mt w/o problem.
but what surprised me a lot was reading on the italian forum (apneamagazine.com)that several of the guys doing the jump blue (the cube) end their dives spitting blood. the cube is done at 15 mt. i think that they will reduce the depth to 10 mt soon because of that. how bad contractions you need to have to get a squeeze at 15 meters?
i wonder.

linda
 
bolts

bolts

New Member
Jun 1, 2004
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Alun said:
i've not heard of anyone getting lung squeeze shallower than 75feet. it usually occurs below 100-130ft.

Funny you should mention that... ;)

I just got back from diving and my main concern was equalizing, since my ears, bluntly, suck. I don't have a depth gauge, so depths here are guesstimates, however we were using a line attached to a sub sunk at about 60feet (about 18m).

Anyways, I did a few dives to 10-15m, I think, and after one dive to the sub I surfaced and after a few minutes felt a heavy feeling in my chest, like a weight was placed on it, and my breath was a bit short. I do remember getting a contraction at depth on this dive... After a while (not sure of the exact time...10-15min?) I coughed a few times, bringing up a bit of blood. After that, I called it a day, as it freaked me out a bit. I didn't feel any pain, per se, and a few hours later as I type this, I feel fine and I'm not coughing any more.

So does this sound like a lung squeeze? When I coughed, it felt similar to the feeling you get with a chest cold (i.e., coughing up something from your chest). I guess if it IS lung squeeze, I think it is totally possible to get it at depths of as little as 15m or so.

Comments? :duh
 
A

Alun

Well-Known Member
Oct 5, 2001
763
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unless ratio between your total lung volume and residual volume is unusually small, you shouldn't get negative pressures in your chest at those depths. one possibility could be that you subconsciously 'fight' the pressure by continuously contracting your inhale muscles. in other words you don't allow your torso to relax and compress under the pressure. another possibility is that you had some form of mucus plug somewhere in your lung (e.g. minor chest infection). i would dive again in a couple of weeks if you feel well. try diving a little shallower and see how you get on. during those dives focus on relaxing your torso/rib cage as much as possible.
 
DeepThought

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
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Long post, first theory then some expiriences.

My theory is that it is possible to get pulmonary erection without going past RV depth.

I speculate it is possible for a few reasons:
  • Un-relexed ribcage (which can also happen in short periods due to not using a good mouthfill*).
  • The fact that we train our pulmonary vessels to be flexible by doing deep dives and negatives/frc/reverse packs, so it takes less "pressure" to swell them.
  • Elevated pulmonary blood pressure:
    • We get peripheral vasoconstriction which means that more blood goes to the core, combined with the fact that we have one side of the heart that pumps blood exclusively to the lungs we get sudden pulses of blood pressure which also in cases of short ribcage resistance to pressure such as in bad mouthfill techniqe* could be a mecahnism to cause pulmonary erection (in my theory, I have no indication that this is true).
    • I think that our body might have some reflex to increase pulmonary (and other) blood pressure in response to changing environment, for example in altitude sickness (to my weak recollection!) if I understood correctly, people who are prone to that get elevated pulmonary blood pressure which can lead to pulmonary edema (which might be considered as a subtle form of lung squeeze as fluid not equal blood). So maybe this exists in all humans but to a lesser extent. [On a side note: cerebral edema can also happen, which I will guess is due to elevated cerebral blood pressure. Those local changes in blood pressure seems pretty close to some of our apnea response, should we start getting worried of cerebral edema as well? :)]
    • We are inverted (though in water)
Pulmonary erection makes it much more likely that a capillary will burst due to some sort of physical pressure (contractions, sudden upper body movements, equalizations) because it means that the capillary walls are thinner at that given moment.

*any equalization that requires pushing air from the lungs will cause that, I'm am stating bad mouthfill as one can still do the mouthfill and operate ribcage muscles accidentaly while equalizing.


Theory aside, I got squeezed once (from TLC diving) at a site that was 25m max. Old spirometry tests from before I started freediving show that I was supposed to be far enough from RV at those depths, and I bet my RV/TLC ratio improved a lot since then - mostly the RV as I don't really pack (increases RV by some theories) and I know how to empty (and fill) my lungs much better than when I took those tests.
I still don't know why it has happen, I speculate a combination of pulmonary erection and contractions at depth.
I started descending slower on my dives and try not to have many contractions at 20 and below (if I notice) and doing stretches before the session. It seemed to work even for a little deeper diving but I got a suspected squeeze last weekend again at that same site.
There was a barely noticeable amount of red in my spit after 2-3 of the last few dives (recrational dives). At the end of the session there wasn't any red in my spit. It felt like I had a chest infection for those last dives, also I had to cough underwater a few times because the urge to cough was so strong when I got inverted. The day after I took it easy and I felt fine - not peak performance but no blood, no hypoxia, no chest symptomes. I suspect a few other factors at that last incident.

One thing I'm still contemplating of is the relevance of the speed of ascent from moderate depth (25m meter and shallower) and from below RV depth to lung squeezes, assuming no packing.

All comments are welcome as lung squeeze is my main concern/limiting factor at the moment in freediving.
 
laminar

laminar

Well-Known Member
Aug 13, 2001
1,129
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Hi Michael,

I agree with your list of causes.

Given the depth and lack of symptoms the following day, could it be a tracheal squeeze or tissue tear? Blood trickling down into the lungs might cause a sudden urge to cough while underwater.

While alveolar edema could be possible, it might be interesting to see if your trachea has had any damage.

Given that squeeze is so hard to define and pin down, it doesn't hurt to consider all the possibilities.

Pete
 
DeepThought

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
2,334
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Hi Pete,

Can't see a reason I'll get my trachea squeezed, at no point during the dives it was supposed to be under negative pressure... not as much as the lungs atleast. Contractions didn't seem that strong or of the throat kind. As far as I know I never had a trachea squeeze before so I don't expect an old scar to be reopened there.
The urge to cough came when I was inverted (during the first few meters mostly).
I did have more mucus in my respiratory system though which could also be a result of lung squeeze.
I never had any sinues/ear trauma or any pain during/after the dive, I find it a little hard to believe that was the case.

You are correct, I should consider all possibilities, I'll leave this tagged under another squeeze mystery and will keep on trying to play it slow and safe hoping to never have to encounter it again.

On another note, when the urge to cough came, I couldn't equalize it was pushing against some wall (though I didn't push hard, it's not in my nature), I had to stop descending and either cough or consciously relax my throat to make the equalization work. I am guessing this pre-cough tension is building also in some of the muscles that surround the opening of the e-tubes. You think this obsticle can be turned into a new way of teaching BTV? :)
 
D

DrLindholm

New Member
May 31, 2004
14
1
0
The symptoms of "lung squeeze" as we like to call it as freedivers are pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs, shortness of breath) and sometimes blood spitting. These symptoms can actually happen without a terrible squeeze, eg during swimming or scuba diving, but then it is most often called swimmers induced pulmonary edema. What a breath-hold diver do when squeezing the thorax is mostly provoking this risk of edema more. The possibility that the bleeding comes from the trachea/bronchi also exists, but you can still get lung squeeze as well and it is very difficult to tell where it started.

The risk of squeeze can usually be avoided by good diving technique, relaxed, no contractions at deep depth, (i.e you should already be ascending when you get contractions), and most important, a gradual training of the depth: swimming 100m in a pool doesnt mean that your lungs can handle 50m constrant weight even though your legs might. The individual ability to dive deep does also depend on lung volume, flexibility and most likely other genetic factors. (this is at least what I think now 2005, who knows what science might show in the future)

Peter
 
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