Multiple Sclerosis

I love to dive, but was recently diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Can I continue?

This immunologic disease occurring in both young and middle-aged people is characterised 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.
  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.
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2 Comments


Braam le roux - July 23rd, 2016 at 9:00am

Good day. My name is Braam le roux Course director of Handicapped scuba association . I teach disabled people to scuba dive for years in South Africa. I have a student with MS and she loved it. Yes they get easy chilled , so you have to warm them up fast after a dive. We qualify them on a level c certification what means the diver has to be have 2 dive buddies , one must be a rescue diver or higher and the other qualified special trained H.S.A buddy . And yes they have to be cleared by a DR to say they are fit to dive.

Tony Duncan - July 23rd, 2016 at 11:11am

I have had MS since 2001 with the last relapse in 2008 and have carried out more than 750 dives all over the world since that time including deep wrecks (up to 60m) in Truk, been buzzed by sharks in the raging currents of Palau and Bassas da India and have dived in the very cold waters of Greece, Croatia and Bermuda as well as the warm waters of Indonesia and other far flung places. Until reading the above article I never thought there might be a problem with diving with MS. I do try and keep myself fit by walking and cycling and I actually find being in the water soothes and calms me. I am certified to Instructor although this is out of date.

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