Can You Die From The Bends?

can you die from decompression sickness

Scuba diving is a style of diving in which the diver uses an independent breathing system to breathe. This kind of diving through the water not only increases strength of your legs but also enhances your core health, necessary for a good posture.

While diving the breathing is slow and deep, which is very essential to conserve and optimize your air consumption. Scuba Diving is done with the help of an independent breathing system called the scuba.

There is a difference between diving and scuba diving depending on how deep you dive into the marine universe. Scuba diving can be dangerous, but diving is not risky, it includes decompression sickness (DCS) also called bends, arterial air stroke, and drowning.

Diving has few more effects like nitrogen narcosis that may add more to these problems.

What Are The Bends In Scuba Diving?

Bends/Decompression sickness is also known as generalized Barotrauma are the injuries caused due to the decline in the pressure that surrounds you may be of air/water. It happens in deep-sea diving or most commonly in scuba.

High altitude or under pressurized air travel can also help in its occurrence. This condition is termed as bends because it is associated with joint and bone pain that becomes double.

When a diver ascends very quickly from the deep waters, the nitrogen dissolved in the blood creates bubbles that may result in severe muscle pain, paralysis, or even death.

the benz scuba diving

If you have gone through scuba-diving then you must have heard about decompression sickness, this activity is similar to what happens when a carbonated drink bottle is opened. It is a deadly condition.

Why Is Decompression Sickness Called The Bends?

You take in extra oxygen and nitrogen when you scuba dive through compressed air. The oxygen is used by your body but nitrogen dissolves into your blood and remains with your dive. When you swim back towards the surface after a deep dive, the pressure of the water around you decreases.

If this happens too quickly, the nitrogen doesn’t get time to clear from your blood hence it separates out in the form of bubbles causing decompression sickness. These nitrogen bubbles can damage a diver’s blood vessels and block the flow of blood.

This deadly condition can lead to heart attacks, strokes, blood vessels rupture in the lungs and severe joint pain, the very common symptom of decompression sickness, and henceforth the (DCS) is also called the bends.

can you die from decompression sickness

How Do Bends Work?

The bends/(DCS) is most common among divers but it can also affect people at high altitudes and free divers. Inexperienced divers are at high risk because they don’t follow safe diving practices.

They ascend rapidly and therefore have apparatus failures because they are either anxious or not sure of the processes. The air we breathe is a mixture of gas including 78% of Oxygen and 21% of Nitrogen at sea level.

Both get dissolved in the blood but nitrogen is expelled when we breathe out. The amount of Nitrogen absorbed increases with the water pressure and remains dissolved in your tissues and blood until you return at the surface with lower pressures.

When you ascend too fast the nitrogen diffuses out in the form of dangerous bubbles violently damaging your organs. These bubbles may lead to many symptoms like joint and muscle pain, itchiness, rashes on the skin, headaches, dizziness, and nausea in mild cases.

But sometimes these bubbles can cause major injuries like arteries blockage, leaky blood vessels, breathing problems, brain damage, heart attacks, tingling, and unconsciousness.

How To Get Rid Of Bends?

Scuba diving is the best way to enjoy the magical marine universe, but it can be dangerous in rare cases. It leads to decompression sickness (DCS) commonly known as bends, scuba diving needs a lot of practice to avoid injuries.

The best way to get rid of bends is to follow safe ascent advice or else you’ll have to undergo treatment for mild cases taking painkillers, oxygen to help in the speedy elimination of nitrogen and use recompression chambers.

These chambers help in redissolving and diffusing the nitrogen bubble safely out of the blood/tissues. The standard treatment of a one-five hour session is recommended for severe cases.

The sufferers are stopped from driving for four weeks and then re-examined to make sure that they have recovered completely.

Whereas experts believe that the best way to avoid disaster is taking precautions.

If you dive smartly and follow the given tips you can avoid bend:

  1. Always remember to avoid fast ascent. While underwater avoid activities like losing your weight-belt that makes you ascent rapidly to the surface.

  2. Keep your physical limits in mind for a smart dive.

  3. In order to allow nitrogen to expel from your bloodstream, take a safety stop for 3 minutes after every 5 meters swimming.

  4. Do not involve in exhausting activities.

  5. Avoid physical exercise 12 hours before you dive.

  6. Try to breathe normally while diving.

  7. Avoid taking alcohol before or after a dive.

  8. In case of a hangover avoid diving.

  9. Keep yourself fully hydrated.

  10. Do not fly immediately after diving.

how do you get the bends

Diving is a method that puts you in an abnormal environment, therefore, keep yourself updated with the knowledge of how to avoid bends and make sure that your body is slowly adjusting to the levels you are at.

What Equipment Are Essential For Scuba Diving?

Scuba diving involves activities like exploring new locations, discovering new seascapes, and experiencing the beauty of the underwater world. If you’re really planning for a scuba dive make sure that you are equipped with these items.

    • A Custom Dive Mask:-

Scuba diving is all about exciting visual experience and a poor vision limits the joy of this experience.

Therefore, before gearing you up with the items of diving, get the best prescription scuba mask from your optometrist, made of the customized lens to suit your vision may be a single lens, bifocal lens, gauge reader lens, or astigmatism.

    • Underwater Cameras:-

Full frame mirrorless camera for underwater photography may be the best option but new models are setting standards for videos and stills. Therefore, if you are planning to buy a new underwater camera for your expedition then invest in the top quality scuba dive cameras for challenging underwater photography.

    • A Durable Wetsuit and Fins:-

To move effortlessly through the waters, scuba fins and a durable wetsuit are very helpful in maintaining a comfortable underwater temperature and the movement to enjoy the diving experience.

There are many more essentials like the submersible pressure gauge and compass to record the depth and the amount of gas in the scuba tank, diving cylinders and tank bangers to warn someone about the dangerous predator or any other emergency.

A pair of quality footwear for safe and comfortable feet throughout the dive. Hence, if you are well equipped with these accessories, you are sure to have a safe and comfortable scuba diving with less chances of bends and relish the most plenteous dive.