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## How is Helium Used in Scuba Diving?

Helium is a colorless, odorless, non-flammable, and inert gas that is used in a variety of applications, including scuba diving. When used in scuba diving, helium is mixed with other gases, such as oxygen and nitrogen, to create a breathing gas that is less dense than air. This allows divers to breathe more easily at greater depths, and it also reduces the risk of decompression sickness.

### The Effects of Helium on the Human Body

Helium is a very safe gas to breathe, and it has no known adverse effects on the human body. However, there are some side effects that can occur when breathing helium, such as:

The helium voice: When you breathe helium, your voice will sound higher-pitched. This is because helium is a lighter gas than air, and it travels faster through the vocal cords.
The helium giggles: Some people experience a feeling of euphoria when breathing helium. This is thought to be caused by the fact that helium reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain.
The helium shakes: Some people experience tremors or muscle weakness when breathing helium. This is thought to be caused by the fact that helium interferes with the normal functioning of the nervous system.

### The Benefits of Using Helium in Scuba Diving

There are a number of benefits to using helium in scuba diving, including:

Reduced risk of decompression sickness: Decompression sickness is a serious condition that can occur when divers ascend too quickly from a dive. Helium reduces the risk of decompression sickness by reducing the amount of nitrogen that dissolves in the body.
Increased bottom time: Helium allows divers to stay at greater depths for longer periods of time. This is because helium is less dense than air, and it allows divers to breathe more easily at greater depths.
Reduced risk of narcosis: Narcosis is a condition that can occur when divers breathe air at high pressures. Helium reduces the risk of narcosis by reducing the amount of nitrogen that is dissolved in the body.

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### The Risks of Using Helium in Scuba Diving

There are also some risks associated with using helium in scuba diving, including:

Increased risk of oxygen toxicity: Oxygen toxicity is a serious condition that can occur when divers breathe too much oxygen. Helium increases the risk of oxygen toxicity by reducing the amount of nitrogen that is dissolved in the body.
Increased risk of hyperoxia: Hyperoxia is a condition that can occur when divers breathe too much oxygen. Helium increases the risk of hyperoxia by reducing the amount of nitrogen that is dissolved in the body.
Increased risk of decompression sickness: Helium reduces the risk of decompression sickness by reducing the amount of nitrogen that dissolves in the body. However, if divers ascend too quickly from a dive, they can still experience decompression sickness.

### Using Helium in Scuba Diving Safely

To use helium in scuba diving safely, divers should:

Be trained by a qualified instructor.
Use a properly calibrated dive computer.
Stay within the safe limits for depth and duration.
Ascend slowly from dives.

### Conclusion

Helium is a safe and effective gas for use in scuba diving. However, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with using helium and to take precautions to mitigate those risks. By following the guidelines in this article, divers can use helium safely and enjoy the benefits it offers.

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