Member Case Study: Severe Lightheadedness After Swimming

author : AMSSM
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Question from Dwayne


I have been taking swimming lessons and am just now getting comfortable in the water. The day after a swim workout I seem to be lightheaded for about six to eight hours after I wake up. I have always had to keep wax washed from my ears. Does this sound like an ear problem, or am I still not breathing correctly? Thanks, Dwayne

Answer from Thomas M. Howard, MD

Member AMSSM

 

Lightheadedness that occurs a day after any workout can come from many factors. It is unlikely that such symptoms are related to an ear problem in the absence of any muffled hearing or balance or equilibrium problems (the merry-go-round sensation).

 

These symptoms could be related to the intensity of your workouts and may represent fatigue indicating needed recovery from your exercise session.

 

Such severe fatigue can sometimes be accounted for when we increase the intensity or duration of our programs or, as you suggest, fatigue associated with inefficient stroke or breathing mechanics. Additionally, adequate nutritional recovery with respect to carbohydrate, protein, and fluid replenishment can also cause this prolonged fatigue. If this fatigue seems to worsen with more severe symptoms or last longer, it may warrant evaluation with your physician.

Thomas M. Howard, MD
Program Director
VCU-Fairfax Family Practice
Sports Medicine Fellowship

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date: September 17, 2008

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AMSSM

The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) was formed in 1991 to fill a void that has existed in sports medicine from its earliest beginnings. The founders most recognized and expert sports medicine specialists realized that while there are several physician organizations which support sports medicine, there has not been a forum specific for primary care non-surgical sports medicine physicians.

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avatarAMSSM

The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) was formed in 1991 to fill a void that has existed in sports medicine from its earliest beginnings. The founders most recognized and expert sports medicine specialists realized that while there are several physician organizations which support sports medicine, there has not been a forum specific for primary care non-surgical sports medicine physicians.

FIND A SPORTS MEDICINE DOCTOR

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