## Why Can’t You Go Scuba Diving Before a Flight?

Scuba diving is an exhilarating experience that allows you to explore the underwater world. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks associated with diving, including the risk of decompression sickness (DCS). DCS occurs when nitrogen bubbles form in your bloodstream as a result of a rapid ascent from depth. These bubbles can block blood flow to your organs and tissues, causing serious injury or even death.

One of the factors that can increase your risk of DCS is flying after diving. This is because the cabin pressure in an airplane is lower than the atmospheric pressure at sea level. As you ascend in the airplane, the nitrogen bubbles in your bloodstream expand, increasing your risk of DCS.

The recommended waiting time between diving and flying varies depending on the depth and duration of your dive. For example, if you dive to a depth of 60 feet or less for less than 60 minutes, you should wait at least 12 hours before flying. If you dive to a depth of 100 feet or more, you should wait at least 24 hours before flying.

It’s important to note that these are just general guidelines. The best way to determine how long you should wait before flying is to consult with a dive professional. They can take into account your individual circumstances, such as your age, health, and diving experience, to determine the appropriate waiting time.

In addition to the risk of DCS, there are other reasons why you shouldn’t go scuba diving before a flight. For example, diving can cause fatigue and dehydration, which can make you more susceptible to altitude sickness. Flying with a cold or sinus infection can also increase your risk of decompression sickness.

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If you’re planning to go scuba diving, it’s important to be aware of the risks involved and to take steps to minimize your risk of injury. One of the best ways to do this is to avoid flying after diving.

### Symptoms of Decompression Sickness

The symptoms of decompression sickness can vary depending on the severity of the condition. However, some of the most common symptoms include:

Joint pain
Shortness of breath

If you experience any of these symptoms after diving, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.

### Treatment for Decompression Sickness

The treatment for decompression sickness typically involves recompression therapy. This involves placing the person in a chamber that is pressurized to a level higher than the atmospheric pressure at sea level. This helps to reduce the size of the nitrogen bubbles in the bloodstream and relieve the symptoms of DCS.

### How to Avoid Decompression Sickness

The best way to avoid decompression sickness is to follow the recommended waiting times between diving and flying. You should also:

Dive within your limits.
Ascend slowly from depth.
Make multiple safety stops during your ascent.
Drink plenty of fluids before and after diving.
Avoid flying with a cold or sinus infection.

By following these tips, you can help to minimize your risk of decompression sickness and ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable diving experience.

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