Kayaking Technique Forum

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epiglottal stop
In Response To: Yep, that's it. ()

: You're gasping hard, but not taking in any significant quanity of air. It's
: pretty alarming. It's also amazingly tiring.

Several body reactions can happen in the cold water on the face scenario.
The involuntary gasp will cause inhalation of water if you are under.
You can have a whole system shutdown from the shock effect.
You can go into irregular heart beat.
You can go into breathing but panic mode. We just had a drowning here from this.
You can get an epiglottal stop which is a drownproofing reaction to cold water in the face. When you come back into the air, you can't inhale because the epiglottus has slammed hurt to keep water out of the lungs. People come up and try to breathe in which just closes the epiglottus more tightly. Breathing has to go both ways. If you haven't inhaled water, when you come up holler, swear or say something which expells air, then the epiglottus opens for more enormal breathing. If you see someone gasping but not getting air in, you have to get them to use their vocal cords or breathe out in some manner.
Randy