Hazards While Diving and the Precautions You Can Take

Diving and snorkeling is fun, but there are risks. Some situations can even be life-threatening. The dangers may come from faulty equipment like when you don’t use the best snorkel fins, from sea life, and water pressure.

The hazards can be physical, chemical, environmental, mechanical, or biological.

Good training will reduce the risk, but it is also essential that you always carry the best equipment you can find, whether you are renting or buying it.

Health Hazards

The Bends – Also known as decompression sickness, this happens when underwater pressure makes your body tissues absorb additional nitrogen. The additional nitrogen can form bubbles when the pressure goes down suddenly. Divers must ascend when this happens and have to be monitored closely. Your joints may ache and there can be skin rashes too. In extreme cases, this can cause even death.

Oxygen Toxicity – Divers who descend lower than 135 feet usually face this. Here, your body will absorb additional oxygen because of the increased pressure. It doesn’t bother most divers, but when you are diving really deep, your body will absorb so much oxygen that it may even become toxic, which may make you feel nausea and give you tunnel vision. There can also be seizures and you may lose consciousness too.

Barotrauma – Refers to middle ear damage caused by high underwater pressure. To prevent this, divers will pinch their nose and blow by swallowing or pushing so that more air is pushed into the middle section of the ear. But this technique to equalize may not work if you are descending too quickly. Your middle ear may get injured and there can be severe pain as a result.

Nitrogen Narcosis – Excess nitrogen may also cause a narcotic effect on you. If you have taken nitrous-oxide gas at the chamber of your dentist, you will know what happens. Nitrogen narcosis impairs the sensory perceptions and judgment. The severity of nitrogen narcosis will depend on the depth, and also how much nitrogen has gone inside you in the deep.

Defective Equipment – Equipment that is not working well can cause problems too. Often, divers go with rented gear, which needs to be checked thoroughly. If you suspect that something is wrong or if the equipment looks very old, then always ask the operator and also get it checked by your guide. A depth gauge that is broken may cause mild decompression sickness. However, you may drown if the regulator is bad. You will be in serious trouble if the light suddenly dies.