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## What are the Health Risks of Scuba Diving?

Scuba diving is an amazing way to experience the underwater world. However, there are some inherent health risks that divers must be aware of before taking the plunge.

### Barotrauma

Barotrauma occurs when pressure changes cause damage to the body’s air-filled spaces. This can happen when divers ascend or descend too quickly, or when they hold their breath while ascending.

There are two main types of barotrauma:

* **Ear barotrauma** occurs when the pressure in the middle ear becomes too great or too low, causing the eardrum to rupture. This can be painful and can lead to hearing loss.
* **Sinus barotrauma** occurs when the pressure in the sinuses becomes too great or too low, causing the sinuses to become blocked or infected. This can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty breathing.

### Decompression Sickness

Decompression sickness (DCS) occurs when nitrogen bubbles form in the body’s tissues during or after a dive. This can happen if divers ascend too quickly, or if they make multiple dives in a short period of time.

DCS can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

* Joint pain
* Muscle weakness
* Numbness or tingling
* Skin rashes
* Fatigue
* Dizziness
* Nausea
* Vomiting
* Seizures
* Coma

DCS can be a serious medical condition, and it can even be fatal.

### Nitrogen Narcosis

Nitrogen narcosis is a condition that can occur when divers breathe compressed air at depths greater than 100 feet. Nitrogen narcosis causes a diver to experience euphoria, impaired judgment, and loss of coordination.

Nitrogen narcosis can be dangerous, as it can lead to divers making mistakes that could result in injury or death.

### Oxygen Toxicity

Oxygen toxicity can occur when divers breathe pure oxygen at depths greater than 20 feet. Oxygen toxicity causes a diver to experience seizures, tremors, and loss of consciousness.

Oxygen toxicity can be fatal, and it is important for divers to be aware of the risks before diving with pure oxygen.

### Carbon Dioxide Toxicity

Carbon dioxide toxicity can occur when divers breathe air that is high in carbon dioxide. This can happen if the diver’s rebreather is not working properly, or if the diver is diving in a confined space with poor ventilation.

Carbon dioxide toxicity causes a diver to experience headache, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. In severe cases, carbon dioxide toxicity can lead to unconsciousness and death.

### Other Health Risks

In addition to the risks listed above, there are a number of other health risks that divers should be aware of. These include:

* **Hypothermia** occurs when a diver’s body temperature drops too low. This can happen if the diver is not wearing enough insulation, or if they are diving in cold water for too long. Hypothermia can lead to a number of serious medical conditions, including heart attack and stroke.
* **Dehydration** occurs when a diver does not drink enough water. Dehydration can lead to fatigue, dizziness, and nausea. In severe cases, dehydration can lead to kidney failure and death.
* **Sunburn** occurs when a diver’s skin is exposed to too much ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Sunburn can cause pain, redness, and swelling. In severe cases, sunburn can lead to skin cancer.
* **Marine life injuries** divers can be injured by marine life, such as jellyfish, sharks, and sea urchins. These injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to serious wounds that require medical attention.

## How to Reduce the Health Risks of Scuba Diving

There are a number of things divers can do to reduce the health risks of scuba diving. These include:

* **Get certified** before diving. This will ensure that you are properly trained and that you know how to dive safely.
* **Dive with a buddy** This will help you to stay safe and to get help if you need it.
* **Stay within your limits** Don’t dive deeper or for longer than you are trained to do.
* **Ascend slowly** This will help to prevent barotrauma and DCS.
* **Drink plenty of water** This will help to prevent dehydration.
* **Protect yourself from the sun** This will help to prevent sunburn.
* **Be aware of marine life** This will help you to avoid injuries from marine life.

By following these tips, you can help to reduce the health risks of scuba diving and enjoy this amazing activity safely.

Read More  What to know before scuba diving

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