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Thread: The feeling of being unable to breathe

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    RBW Member Dacmirc is an unknown quantity at this point Dacmirc's Avatar
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    The feeling of being unable to breathe

    I have had an issue during some or my recent rebreather dives (inspiration with bmcl) basically during the dive at random times during breathing I start to feel like when I breathe in I start to tug and blow air through my nose in between breathing . It's sort of like when your snoring breathing out. Has anyone else had this experience. Some times I can blow really hard through my nose and stop it otherwise It leads to me bailing out. I'd say it's like am congested but it's happening even in summer. I'm pretty much at my whits end with it and for obvious reasons staying away from technical diving at the min. I'm going to try a new mask and maybe put my fmcl on and see if that helps.


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    RBW Member ScubaAl is on a distinguished road ScubaAl is on a distinguished road ScubaAl's Avatar
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    Re: The feeling of being unable to breathe

    Wish I had an answer for you. Have had something similar happen several times in the past. It was like on inhalation I was bottoming out the CL and involuntary inhaling through my nose. This would cause me to suck my mask onto my face.
    This would happen for me only in high flow caves, while swimming into the flow. If I would turn the dive and go with the flow everything would be fine.
    Because of this I was wondering if it might be a combination of CO2 buildup and the high flow compressing the counter lungs.

    Al

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    RBW Member dreamdive has disabled reputation dreamdive's Avatar
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    Re: The feeling of being unable to breathe

    I call it "The Snorts". It must be related to the negative static loading of BMCL as I don't have it when diving FMCL.

    One thing I do to alleviate it is to flip on my back. That will provide positive static loading and a certain amount of PEEP.

    It does not appear to happen on every dive nor does it appear to be related to depth but I do find that it happens more frequently during increased work loads. I don't think that it is related to CO2 but rather is due to the "suction" effect from negative static loading.

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    RBW Member Dacmirc is an unknown quantity at this point Dacmirc's Avatar
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    Re: The feeling of being unable to breathe

    I'm so glad people have experienced this also. I don't think it's co2 either. When I go onto open circuit it's goes away straight away but with co2 the effects would be lasting.


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    Richard Huntrods sunnyboy has a spectacular aura about sunnyboy has a spectacular aura about sunnyboy has a spectacular aura about sunnyboy has a spectacular aura about sunnyboy has a spectacular aura about sunnyboy has a spectacular aura about sunnyboy's Avatar
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    Re: The feeling of being unable to breathe

    Quote Originally Posted by Dacmirc  View Original Post
    I'm so glad people have experienced this also. I don't think it's co2 either. When I go onto open circuit it's goes away straight away but with co2 the effects would be lasting.


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    Not necessarily. If the scrubber material is getting near 'end of life', you can have this happen. Going OC clears it up pretty quickly because you're not getting a full-on CO2 hit at this point, just more CO2 than normal. Time to change the scrubber, IMO.

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    RBW Member EngelenD is a jewel in the rough EngelenD is a jewel in the rough EngelenD is a jewel in the rough EngelenD is a jewel in the rough EngelenD is a jewel in the rough EngelenD is a jewel in the rough EngelenD is a jewel in the rough EngelenD is a jewel in the rough EngelenD's Avatar
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    Re: The feeling of being unable to breathe

    I experienced this for a while when I dived with a mask where the rubber was really soft, when for a stiffer one with and really small ( free diving mask) to have as little air in it as possible. Never had the feeling anymore .


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    RBW Member Dacmirc is an unknown quantity at this point Dacmirc's Avatar
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    Re: The feeling of being unable to breathe

    Quote Originally Posted by sunnyboy  View Original Post
    Not necessarily. If the scrubber material is getting near 'end of life', you can have this happen. Going OC clears it up pretty quickly because you're not getting a full-on CO2 hit at this point, just more CO2 than normal. Time to change the scrubber, IMO.
    Hi sunnyboy thanks for your reply. It was a brand new fill of sofno pal the last time it happened with around 20 mins run time sofno tub is pretty new too. It happens with my classic and my vision so that rules out co2 getting round an O-ring. I'm getting to my whits end with it now as it's causing me to thub dives might end up going back to OC if it carries on. Gonna try a new mask tomorrow.


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    RBW Member Dacmirc is an unknown quantity at this point Dacmirc's Avatar
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    Re: The feeling of being unable to breathe

    Quote Originally Posted by EngelenD  View Original Post
    I experienced this for a while when I dived with a mask where the rubber was really soft, when for a stiffer one with and really small ( free diving mask) to have as little air in it as possible. Never had the feeling anymore .


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    Cheers Engelen I'm going to try another mask tomorrow I have a cressi focus that is tiny lol (I use corrective lenses)


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    RBW Member Capt Morgan is an unknown quantity at this point Capt Morgan's Avatar
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    Re: The feeling of being unable to breathe

    Quote Originally Posted by EngelenD  View Original Post
    I experienced this for a while when I dived with a mask where the rubber was really soft, when for a stiffer one with and really small ( free diving mask) to have as little air in it as possible. Never had the feeling anymore .


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dacmirc  View Original Post
    Cheers Engelen I'm going to try another mask tomorrow I have a cressi focus that is tiny lol (I use corrective lenses)


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    Your problem is one I have never had and was finding it hard to understand
    but it could be because I have always dived an extremely low volume mask.
    This mask is great.

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    Richard Huntrods sunnyboy has a spectacular aura about sunnyboy has a spectacular aura about sunnyboy has a spectacular aura about sunnyboy has a spectacular aura about sunnyboy has a spectacular aura about sunnyboy has a spectacular aura about sunnyboy's Avatar
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    Re: The feeling of being unable to breathe

    Quote Originally Posted by Dacmirc  View Original Post
    Hi sunnyboy thanks for your reply. It was a brand new fill of sofno pal the last time it happened with around 20 mins run time sofno tub is pretty new too. It happens with my classic and my vision so that rules out co2 getting round an O-ring. I'm getting to my whits end with it now as it's causing me to thub dives might end up going back to OC if it carries on. Gonna try a new mask tomorrow.


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    You don't say if you are a new rebreather diver or not, so forgive if you already know this...

    Are you taking nice, slow, deep breaths with your unit? The lovely thing about diving a rebreather is you can take your time to breath deeply and evenly. I do this to make sure I clear as much CO2 from my airway into the exhale counterlung (and thus scrubber) as possible.

    Or, how tight is your scrubber packed? Any chance you are getting some bypass early on?

    Just tossing out a couple of ideas.

    As for my specific cases of almost exactly what you describe, they always occurred when I was in the last hour of the scrubber life, always in the last 30min of a 90+min dive.

    It was the same 'snorking' as described earlier... near the end of the dive I'd be sucking the mask to my face and almost storting at the same time. It also seemed as if my sinuses were a bit stuffed, even though there was no evidence of sinus issues before or after the dive. Also, a dil flush would clear things up immediately.

    At the time I was using the Grace Sodasorb product, which had large soft grains and was very dusty as well. (the indicating type).

    Since then I switched to Intersorb's Sofnolime. These are smaller, harder 'rods' and pack more densly without any dust. After many hours on the new sorb the 'snorking' has not recurred once; even when I'm inside that "one hour left" window on the sorb on longer dives.

    I do pack my scrubber really, really tight, but it's a prism topaz radial so the WOB is still excellent.

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