## How to Avoid the Bends When Scuba Diving

### Understanding the Bends

The bends, also known as decompression sickness (DCS), is a serious diving-related injury that occurs when nitrogen gas bubbles form in the body’s tissues. These bubbles can block blood flow, causing pain, paralysis, and even death.

The bends is caused by a sudden decrease in pressure, which allows nitrogen gas dissolved in the body to come out of solution and form bubbles. This can happen when a diver ascends too quickly from a dive or when they stay at depth for too long.

### Symptoms of the Bends

The symptoms of the bends can vary depending on the severity of the injury. Mild symptoms include:

Joint pain
Muscle pain
Headache
Fatigue
Nausea

More severe symptoms include:

Paralysis
Loss of consciousness
Coma

### Treatment for the Bends

Treatment for the bends involves recompression therapy, which involves placing the diver in a chamber that is pressurized to a higher pressure than the depth at which they were diving. This helps to dissolve the nitrogen bubbles and reduce the symptoms of DCS.

### How to Avoid the Bends

The best way to avoid the bends is to follow the recommended dive tables or use a dive computer. These tables and computers will help you to determine how long you can stay at a given depth and how quickly you can ascend.

Other tips to help avoid the bends include:

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before and after your dive.
Warm up before your dive by doing some light exercise.
Avoid alcohol before and after your dive.
Ascend slowly from your dive, taking frequent stops to allow your body to adjust to the decreasing pressure.
If you experience any symptoms of the bends, seek medical attention immediately.

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### Conclusion

The bends is a serious diving-related injury that can be avoided by following the recommended dive tables or using a dive computer. If you do experience any symptoms of the bends, seek medical attention immediately.

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