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## How Long Until You Can Fly After Scuba Diving?

Flying after scuba diving is an important safety consideration. The risk of decompression sickness (DCS) increases with both altitude and time spent underwater. DCS is a serious medical condition that can occur when nitrogen bubbles form in the body’s tissues. These bubbles can block blood flow and cause tissue damage.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recommends waiting 12 hours after a single dive and 18 hours after multiple dives before flying. This is because it takes time for the body to eliminate the nitrogen that has been absorbed during diving.

However, there are a number of factors that can affect the amount of time you need to wait before flying. These factors include:

* **Depth of the dive:** The deeper the dive, the more nitrogen is absorbed by the body.
* **Duration of the dive:** The longer the dive, the more nitrogen is absorbed by the body.
* **Number of dives:** Multiple dives in a short period of time can increase the risk of DCS.
* **Age:** Older divers are at a higher risk of DCS.
* **Weight:** Obese divers are at a higher risk of DCS.
* **Physical fitness:** Divers who are not in good physical condition are at a higher risk of DCS.

If you are planning to scuba dive and fly within the next 24 hours, it is important to discuss your plans with a dive professional. They can help you assess your risk of DCS and recommend the appropriate waiting period before flying.

### Signs and Symptoms of DCS

DCS can occur at any time after diving, but it is most common within the first 24 hours. The signs and symptoms of DCS can vary, but they may include:

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* Joint pain
* Muscle pain
* Fatigue
* Nausea
* Vomiting
* Dizziness
* Confusion
* Shortness of breath
* Chest pain

If you experience any of these symptoms after diving, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

### Treatment for DCS

DCS is a serious medical condition that requires prompt treatment. Treatment typically involves recompression therapy, which is a process that helps to reduce the size of the nitrogen bubbles in the body. Recompression therapy can be performed in a hyperbaric chamber or in a diving bell.

### How to Reduce Your Risk of DCS

There are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of DCS, including:

* **Ascend slowly:** Allow yourself plenty of time to ascend from your dive.
* **Make safety stops:** Stop at 15 feet and 10 feet for 3 minutes each during your ascent.
* **Avoid flying after diving:** Wait at least 12 hours after a single dive and 18 hours after multiple dives before flying.
* **Drink plenty of fluids:** Staying hydrated helps to flush nitrogen from the body.
* **Get plenty of rest:** Getting enough rest helps the body to recover from diving.
* **Listen to your body:** If you feel tired or unwell after diving, stop diving and rest.

By following these tips, you can help to reduce your risk of DCS and enjoy safe and enjoyable scuba diving experiences.

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