## Why Does My Head Hurt After Scuba Diving?

Scuba diving is an exhilarating and rewarding activity, but it can also come with some unpleasant side effects, including headaches. Headaches after scuba diving are a common occurrence and can be caused by a variety of factors.

### Causes of Headaches After Scuba Diving

Decompression sickness: This is a serious condition that can occur when nitrogen bubbles form in the body’s tissues during decompression. Symptoms of decompression sickness can include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue.
Sinus squeeze: This occurs when the pressure in the sinuses is not equalized with the pressure in the surrounding water. This can cause pain and headaches.
Eyestrain: Scuba diving can put strain on the eyes, especially if you are not wearing a mask that fits properly. This can lead to headaches.
Dehydration: Dehydration can occur when you do not drink enough fluids before or during a dive. This can lead to headaches and other symptoms, such as fatigue and muscle cramps.
Carbon dioxide buildup: Carbon dioxide is a waste product that is produced by the body during respiration. If carbon dioxide levels build up in the body, it can lead to headaches.

### Risk Factors for Headaches After Scuba Diving

Rapid ascent: Ascending too quickly can increase the risk of decompression sickness and sinus squeeze.
Poorly fitting mask: A poorly fitting mask can cause sinus squeeze and eyestrain.
Dehydration: Dehydration can occur if you do not drink enough fluids before or during a dive.
Obesity: Obesity can increase the risk of decompression sickness.
Age: Older adults are more likely to experience headaches after scuba diving.

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### How to Prevent Headaches After Scuba Diving

Ascend slowly: Ascend at a rate of no more than 30 feet per minute.
Equalize your ears frequently: Equalize your ears by swallowing or blowing your nose gently.
Wear a properly fitting mask: Choose a mask that fits snugly and does not leak.
Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids before and during a dive.
Avoid carbon dioxide buildup: Use a snorkel or regulator that is designed to minimize carbon dioxide buildup.

### Treatment for Headaches After Scuba Diving

Rest: Get plenty of rest after a dive.
Hydrate: Drink plenty of fluids.
Use a pain reliever: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help to relieve headaches.
See a doctor: If your headache is severe or does not go away after a few days, see a doctor.

### Conclusion

Headaches after scuba diving are a common occurrence, but they can be prevented and treated. By following the tips in this article, you can reduce your risk of headaches and enjoy your dives safely.

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