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## How Long Should You Wait Before Flying After Scuba Diving?

Scuba diving is an exhilarating way to explore the underwater world, but it’s important to be aware of the potential risks involved. One of these risks is decompression sickness, which can occur if you ascend too quickly after a dive.

To avoid decompression sickness, divers are advised to wait a certain amount of time before flying after diving. The amount of time required depends on a number of factors, including the depth of the dive, the duration of the dive, and the number of dives performed in a short period of time.

### Recommended Waiting Times

The following are the recommended waiting times before flying after diving:

– Single dive shallower than 100 feet (30 meters): 12 hours
– Single dive between 100-130 feet (30-40 meters): 18 hours
– Single dive deeper than 130 feet (40 meters): 24 hours
– Multiple dives in a day: Add 6 hours to the recommended waiting time for each additional dive
– Diving with a rebreather: Add 24 hours to the recommended waiting time

### Why It’s Important to Wait

Waiting before flying after diving gives your body time to eliminate the nitrogen that has been absorbed into your tissues during the dive. If you fly too soon after diving, the nitrogen can form bubbles in your bloodstream, which can cause decompression sickness.

Symptoms of decompression sickness can include:

– Joint pain
– Fatigue
– Nausea
– Vomiting
– Dizziness
– Confusion
– Paralysis

In severe cases, decompression sickness can be fatal.

### Exceptions to the Rule

There are a few exceptions to the recommended waiting times for flying after diving. These exceptions include:

– If you are using a surface decompression chamber: You can fly after 6 hours, provided that you have been in the chamber for at least 2 hours.
– If you are using a dive computer: You can fly after the time indicated by the computer, provided that you have followed the computer’s ascent rate and depth limits.

### Other Precautions

In addition to waiting before flying after diving, you should also take the following precautions to reduce your risk of decompression sickness:

– Ascend slowly from dives.
– Make safety stops during your ascent.
– Avoid diving multiple times in a day.
– Drink plenty of fluids before and after diving.
– Avoid alcohol before and after diving.

### Conclusion

Waiting the recommended amount of time before flying after diving is essential for reducing your risk of decompression sickness. By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable diving experience.

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