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## Can Scuba Diving Make You Sick?

Scuba diving is a popular and enjoyable recreational activity, but it can also come with some risks. One of the most common questions that people have about scuba diving is whether or not it can make you sick.

The answer to this question is yes, scuba diving can make you sick. There are a number of different illnesses that can be caused by scuba diving, including:

Decompression sickness: This is the most serious illness that can be caused by scuba diving. Decompression sickness occurs when nitrogen bubbles form in the blood and tissues due to a rapid ascent from depth. Symptoms of decompression sickness can include pain, numbness, and weakness in the joints, muscles, and skin. In severe cases, decompression sickness can lead to paralysis and death.
Nitrogen narcosis: This is a less serious illness that can be caused by scuba diving. Nitrogen narcosis occurs when the partial pressure of nitrogen in the blood becomes too high. Symptoms of nitrogen narcosis can include euphoria, impaired judgment, and hallucinations. In severe cases, nitrogen narcosis can lead to unconsciousness and death.
Oxygen toxicity: This is a rare but serious illness that can be caused by scuba diving. Oxygen toxicity occurs when the partial pressure of oxygen in the blood becomes too high. Symptoms of oxygen toxicity can include seizures, nausea, and vomiting. In severe cases, oxygen toxicity can lead to death.

In addition to these illnesses, scuba diving can also cause a number of other health problems, such as:

Ear infections: Scuba diving can increase the risk of ear infections because the water pressure can force bacteria into the ears. Symptoms of an ear infection can include pain, swelling, and discharge.
Sinus infections: Scuba diving can also increase the risk of sinus infections because the water pressure can force bacteria into the sinuses. Symptoms of a sinus infection can include pain, swelling, and congestion.
Colds and flu: Scuba diving can also increase the risk of colds and flu because the water can be a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. Symptoms of a cold or flu can include sneezing, coughing, and sore throat.

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## How to Avoid Getting Sick from Scuba Diving

There are a number of things that you can do to avoid getting sick from scuba diving, including:

Get certified by a reputable scuba diving organization. This will ensure that you are properly trained in the safe practices of scuba diving.
Follow the dive plan. The dive plan will specify the depth and duration of your dive, as well as the safety procedures that you should follow.
Ascend slowly. Ascending too quickly can cause decompression sickness.
Drink plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated will help to prevent dehydration, which can lead to a number of health problems.
Take breaks. If you start to feel tired or sick, take a break from diving.
Listen to your body. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, stop diving and consult with a doctor.

## Conclusion

Scuba diving can be a safe and enjoyable activity, but it is important to be aware of the risks involved. By following the tips in this article, you can help to reduce your risk of getting sick from scuba diving.

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