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## What Happens if You Don’t Decompress While Scuba Diving?

Decompression is the process of slowly ascending from a dive to allow the nitrogen that has dissolved in your body tissues to come out of solution without forming bubbles. If you don’t decompress properly, you can get decompression sickness (DCS), which is a serious condition that can cause pain, paralysis, and even death.

### Symptoms of DCS

The symptoms of DCS can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Mild DCS may cause only mild pain in your joints or muscles. More severe DCS can cause paralysis, seizures, and even death.

The most common symptoms of DCS include:

* Joint pain
* Muscle pain
* Fatigue
* Nausea
* Vomiting
* Headache
* Dizziness
* Confusion
* Paralysis

### Causes of DCS

DCS is caused by nitrogen bubbles forming in your body tissues. Nitrogen is a gas that is dissolved in your blood and tissues when you breathe compressed air while scuba diving. When you ascend from a dive, the pressure on your body decreases, which causes the nitrogen to come out of solution and form bubbles.

If the bubbles are small, they will be reabsorbed into your bloodstream without causing any problems. However, if the bubbles are large, they can block blood flow to your organs and tissues, which can cause DCS.

### Risk Factors for DCS

There are a number of factors that can increase your risk of getting DCS, including:

* Diving too deep
* Staying underwater for too long
* Ascending too quickly
* Having a history of DCS
* Being overweight
* Being dehydrated
* Being tired

### How to Avoid DCS

The best way to avoid DCS is to follow the decompression guidelines for your dive. These guidelines will tell you how deep you can dive, how long you can stay underwater, and how slowly you need to ascend.

In addition to following the decompression guidelines, you can also reduce your risk of DCS by:

* Staying hydrated
* Getting enough rest
* Avoiding alcohol and caffeine before and after diving
* Diving with a buddy
* Having a dive computer
* Learning how to recognize and treat DCS

### Treatment for DCS

If you think you have DCS, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Treatment for DCS may include oxygen therapy, pain medication, and recompression therapy.

Recompression therapy is a procedure that involves placing you in a pressurized chamber and slowly increasing the pressure. This helps to reduce the size of the nitrogen bubbles and reabsorb them into your bloodstream.

### Conclusion

DCS is a serious condition that can be avoided by following the decompression guidelines for your dive. If you think you have DCS, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

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