Exploring the underwater world of reefs and ocean creatures is a fabulous experience that reinforces your love for nature. If you’re planning on a scuba diving excursion for the first time, know that you must train extensively under the supervision of an expert instructor before attempting a dive.
Like the professionals at ScubaTony advise, you may want to prepare carefully before a scuba vacation by educating you on the potential hazards of the activity. Learning about the risks can help you understand better how to avoid them so you take home nothing but exciting memories of the wonderful sights of the sea.
The first few training sessions are conducted in a classroom where you’ll learn about the physics of how water behaves and the changes your body will face when swimming under water pressure. You may also receive a brush up on the basic rules of math. Here’s a quick overview of the dangers your instructors may warn about. The experts will also explain in detail how to avoid them.
1. Diving quickly can exert pressure on your face and ears
When teaching scuba diving, the instructor will warn you not to descend too quickly. That’s because the difference in air pressure inside the mask and your middle ears and the surrounding water can cause painful “squeezes” as termed by this feature on the American Family Physician. To help prevent the pain and discomfort, your instructor will monitor the dive to ensure that your body adapts to the pressure gradually.
2. Ascending too quickly is also not advisable
During scuba diving, you will be inhaling compressed air in underwater pressure causing body tissues to absorb more nitrogen. As you ascend to the surface, the excess nitrogen can accumulate in bubbles inside the tissues by way of DCS or Decompression Sickness also called “the bends.”
When training in diving techniques, the instructor will show you how to rise to the surface slowly using the standard safety precautions. You will also understand how to follow dive tables so that your body adjusts to the varying depths and nitrogen buildup. Check out this article on Instructables for more information about how the tables work so you can avoid the pain and discomfort from DCS.
3. You risk DCS by not preparing your body
Aside from following dive tables, prepare your body for scuba diving. The instructor will tell you to drink lots of water in the week before and get adequate amounts of sleep. Avoiding stress and anxiety along with drugs and alcohol can also help you prevent the hazard of DCS and foggy judgment.
Keep in mind that following the dive tables and computer does not offer fool-proof protection from DCS. If you start to sense the symptoms of decompression, signal your buddies or the instructor right away and get assistance.
4. Not being reasonably fit can cause complications
The essential requirements of scuba diving don’t just include knowing how to swim; you also need to be reasonably fit for underwater excursions.
Check with your medical practitioner and ensure that you don’t have any respiratory or cardiac issues that may create complications underwater. ThoughtCo explains that at the time of applying for your PADI certification, you may be asked a series of questions to assess fitness levels. Make sure to answer the queries correctly so your undersea explorations progress without incident. While most medical conditions won’t interfere with your plans, talk to the instructor and rule out any doubts about contraindications for diving.
Even after getting certification, you may want to check through the questions at regular intervals to remain safe undersea.
5. Arterial embolism is a real possibility
Arterial embolism or lung damage is another condition that can occur if divers ascend to the surface too fast. The instructor will train you how to continue to breathe normally and to not hold your breath. These simple rules can prevent the formation of bubbles in the arteries that can block blood circulation. You’ll also maintain the balance in air pressure in your lungs with the water pressure around you which is vital for safety while scuba diving.
6. Not being aware of your surroundings can result in injuries
Training in undersea diving will show you how visual and auditory perceptions can change in the water and dim lighting of the ocean bed. Learn to be aware of the surroundings so you don’t accidentally brush against sharp metal edges in wrecks, fishing lines, and calcified coral. Also, make sure to avoid contact with sea creatures and plants. In this way, you’ll prevent getting scratches, scrapes, and cuts on your arms or legs. Above all, you don’t want to chance hurting marine life like live coral that are so delicate that they can die even with a light touch.
7. Not following safety precautions can be dangerous
The expert professional supervising the dive will instruct you on the entire list of safety instructions such as signals for conveying discomfort and medical emergencies. You’ll also learn how to stay calm if something is wrong and how to indicate that you need help. Like, for instance, signals to show that there is a problem with the air supply system or if you cannot see properly. Understand that the possibility of impaired judgment is real but the scuba diving instructor accompanying you is adept at taking care of the problem.
Like the PADI website reveals, undersea excursions are much safer that other activities like horseback riding, jogging, fishing, bowling, or swimming. Before entering a deep-sea environment, your instructor will undertake training sessions in regular pools and shallow sea waters to help you adapt to breathing underwater using scuba gear and learn the safety precautions.
Go on diving trips only after attaining the necessary certification and remember not to take unnecessary risks. Follow all instructions carefully and you’re sure to have an enjoyable holiday.
Read other useful guides about diving:
- Everything You Need To Know About Maafushi, Maldives
- Boracay or Palawan for a Vacation in the Philippines?
- 14 Recommended Local North Shore Oahu Activities, Hawaii