Can You Skydive With Asthma?

Monday, January 30, 2023

Okay, you’ve booked your skydive, your adventurous spirit is PUMPED UP and then you suddenly remember to ask, “Wait, can you skydive if you have asthma?” We’ll put your fears to rest and assure you that the answer is a resounding “yes” to the question of skydiving with asthma. Let’s jump into how the pressures of skydiving could affect someone who struggles with asthma and how to mitigate any mishaps!

What is Asthma?

Air is carried into our lungs by two bronchial tubes. When they enter the lungs, they section off into smaller tubes called bronchioles. When someone has asthma, their bronchial tubes can get pretty ticked off and either produce a ton of mucus or constrict. The inflammation or blockage in the airways can make it extremely difficult to inhale and exhale, and can even be life-threatening. 

Asthma is a chronic condition, meaning it won’t just go away when treated. However, treatment can  mitigate symptoms of asthma, which makes it a generally controllable disease. People with controlled asthma can be devoted skydivers!

How Can Asthma Affect My Skydive?

bungee jumping vs skydivingUnderstandably, asthma can make you hesitant to skydive. If you’re asking, “Can people with asthma skydive?” then you probably already feel the anxiety building! We are here to reassure you that people who battle the daily challenges of having asthma go skydiving all. the. time.

We would like to note, though, that if you are at all concerned about any breathing problems prior to jumping then it’s recommended that you consult with your doc just to be sure! We recommend that your asthma is controlled before signing up to skydive.

Asthmatic issues usually start when they’re triggered by something. The tricky thing about diagnosing someone with asthma is that a lot of triggers are individualized; some common ones are pet dander, pollen, air pollution, dust, cold air, and exercise. In the case of skydiving, we would be concerned with the “exercise” and “cold air” triggers, but you can still be cleared to jump by your physician. 

Tell your instructor if you’re concerned about your asthma while jumping – this way they’ll be able to help you out if the nerves start to heighten and can be fully aware of your situation. They’re professionals and they’ve seen it all, we promise! 

Breathing While Skydiving

In, out, in, out. The way you breathe while falling through the sky is the same as when you’re planted nicely on Mother Earth! You might hear people say that they found it difficult to breathe while skydiving, but this isn’t due to a lack of oxygen! We take our super-fast aircraft up to the still oxygen-rich altitude of 14,000 feet. The United States Parachute Association (the people who tell us what to do and how to do it) requires supplemental oxygen when above 15,000 feet MSL. Here are our best tips and tricks to ensure you get a full breath:

  • SCREAM. That’s right, we wanna hear ya! Except, we won’t. The wind is so gloriously loud that we won’t hear you until you’re under the parachute, so feel free to yell whatever your little heart desires. The most common reason people feel that they can’t breathe is that they forget. Crazy, we know, but it’s the truth! Yelling will force you to take a nice big breath back in.
  • Chill out, bro. Taking some nice deep breaths on the ground and on the plane ride up will help your heart rate to settle and help you to remember to breathe as you have been once you exit. Try the normal breathing method — breathe in your nose and out your mouth!
  • Look at the horizon. Looking out instead of down will stop the wind from hitting your face right on and feeling super intense, it’ll also help your videographer get the sickest shot!can you skydive with asthma

What Medical Conditions Stop You From Skydiving?

There are only a handful of medical conditions that may make you second guess jumping from a plane, including heart conditions (such as high blood pressure, arrhythmia, or cardiovascular disease), major knee issues, previously diagnosed back (specifically spine or neck) problems, diabetes, and if there’s a baby on board! 

Our best piece of advice is to touch base with a trusted doctor prior to skydiving if you’re subject to any of the above medical issues, asthma included! Skydiving is one of the most extreme sports out there, and while you don’t have to religiously run 5Ks or have a 6-pack to successfully shred the sky, generally good health is a requirement. We would love to have you jump, but as with everything we do, your safety is at the tip top of our minds. 

The bottom line is this: people with asthma skydive every day. If you’re asthmatic we recommend getting the OK from your doctor and then coming to SEND IT with us! Book your skydive today or contact us with any further questions.