## Why Do My Lungs Feel Compressed After Scuba Diving?

Scuba diving is a popular recreational activity that allows people to explore the underwater world. However, some divers experience a feeling of lung compression after diving. This can be a disconcerting feeling, and it is important to understand why it happens and what can be done to prevent it.

### What Causes Lung Compression?

The feeling of lung compression after scuba diving is caused by the pressure of the water on the diver’s chest. As a diver descends, the water pressure increases. This pressure compresses the diver’s chest, which in turn compresses the lungs. The lungs are able to withstand a certain amount of compression, but if the pressure becomes too great, the lungs can collapse.

The amount of pressure that the lungs can withstand depends on a number of factors, including the diver’s depth, the duration of the dive, and the diver’s lung capacity. Divers who dive to greater depths, for longer periods of time, or who have smaller lung capacities are more likely to experience lung compression.

### Symptoms of Lung Compression

The symptoms of lung compression can vary from mild to severe. Mild symptoms include:

A feeling of tightness in the chest
Shortness of breath
Rapid breathing

Severe symptoms include:

Chest pain
Difficulty breathing
Cyanosis (bluish discoloration of the skin)
Loss of consciousness

### Preventing Lung Compression

There are a number of things that divers can do to prevent lung compression, including:

Ascending slowly. The slower a diver ascends, the less pressure will be placed on the lungs. Divers should ascend at a rate of no more than 30 feet per minute.
Taking breaks during the ascent. Divers should take breaks during the ascent to allow their lungs to adjust to the decreasing pressure. Divers should stop at 10-foot intervals for a minute or two to rest.
Using a buoyancy compensator device (BCD). A BCD is a device that helps divers to control their buoyancy. Divers can use a BCD to offset the pressure of the water, which can help to prevent lung compression.
Having a healthy lung capacity. Divers with larger lung capacities are less likely to experience lung compression. Divers can increase their lung capacity by exercising regularly and by practicing deep breathing exercises.

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### Treating Lung Compression

If a diver experiences lung compression, it is important to ascend slowly and to seek medical attention. Divers who experience severe symptoms may need to be treated with oxygen or other medical interventions.

### Conclusion

Lung compression is a common problem for scuba divers. However, it can be prevented by following the tips listed above. Divers who experience lung compression should ascend slowly and seek medical attention.

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