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## Is Scuba Diving Bad for Your Lungs?

Scuba diving is a popular water sport that allows people to explore the underwater world. However, there are some concerns about the potential health effects of scuba diving, including the impact on the lungs.

### Can Scuba Diving Cause Lung Damage?

The short answer is no, scuba diving does not typically cause lung damage to healthy divers. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

Lung Overexpansion Injuries: These injuries can occur when a diver ascends too quickly from a deep dive. As the diver ascends, the pressure on the lungs decreases, causing the lungs to expand. If the diver ascends too quickly, the lungs can expand too quickly and rupture. This can lead to serious health problems, including death.

Pulmonary Barotrauma: This is a type of lung injury that can occur when a diver holds their breath while ascending from a dive. As the diver ascends, the pressure on the lungs decreases, causing the air in the lungs to expand. If the diver holds their breath, the expanding air can rupture the lungs, causing serious health problems.

Nitrogen Narcosis: This is a condition that can occur when a diver breathes compressed air at depths greater than 100 feet. Nitrogen narcosis causes a diver to feel euphoric and disoriented, and it can impair their judgment and decision-making. In severe cases, nitrogen narcosis can lead to unconsciousness and death.

Oxygen Toxicity: This is a condition that can occur when a diver breathes pure oxygen for an extended period of time. Oxygen toxicity can cause a diver to experience seizures, unconsciousness, and even death.

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### How to Reduce the Risk of Lung Damage from Scuba Diving

There are several things that you can do to reduce the risk of lung damage from scuba diving, including:

– Never hold your breath while ascending. This is the most important rule for preventing lung injuries from scuba diving. Always exhale slowly and continuously as you ascend.
– Ascend slowly and safely. The slower you ascend, the less likely you are to experience lung injuries. The recommended ascent rate is 30 feet per minute or less.
– Be aware of the signs and symptoms of lung injuries. If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop diving immediately and seek medical attention:
– Chest pain
– Shortness of breath
– Coughing
– Hemoptysis (coughing up blood)
– Wheezing
– Get certified and dive with a buddy. Diving with a buddy can help you to stay safe and avoid lung injuries. A buddy can help you monitor your ascent rate and provide assistance if you experience any problems.

### Conclusion

Scuba diving is a safe and enjoyable activity for healthy divers. However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks of lung injuries and to take steps to reduce your risk. By following the tips above, you can help to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable diving experience.

### Additional Resources

– [DAN’s Diving Medicine Online](https://www.diversalertnetwork.org/diving-medicine-online)
– [NOAA Diving Manual](https://www.scubadiving.com/noaa-diving-manual)
– [PADI Scuba Diving](https://www.padi.com/)

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