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Some Common Scuba Diving Dangers

Jan 23, 2008
Contrary to popular belief, when considering some dangers of scuba diving an encounter with sharks and various huge sea animals is the least of your worries. In fact, it is more likely for a diver to be attacked by these sea creatures when near the shore rather than actually going deep into the waters. Engaging in this sport presents some perils that both the professional diver and beginning diver should know and prepare for. Scuba diving is defined as pleasure when diving to a depth of no more than 130 feet and has been a recreational activity for most people.

A scuba diver should expect to be scraped, nicked, or cut by fishes, corals, and remnants of a ship. To avoid these minor scratches, a diver must familiarize himself with the various areas of the underwater world. As he does that, he should take note of the sea creatures, corals, and other elements that may pose some great danger as he dives. Probably a more frightening danger is being hit by a boat or being cut by the boat's propeller blades. Sometimes pulling or pushing up may cause your skin scrape against the boat or barnacles and you will get wounds. Always choose dive spots where there are few tourists, do not hang with the boat or hold the anchor's rope and be aware when diving in areas where there are scooters, speedboats, or other water sports.

The good news is that serious medical problems are not common in recreational scuba divers. There are millions of dives each year in the Unites States, however, only about 90 deaths are reported worldwide on an annual basis. The most common medical problem is a simple middle ear squeeze. This is called inner ear barotrauma and occurs because of the difference in pressure between the air spaces of your ears and the higher water pressure as you go deeper into the water. If you have trouble clearing (popping your ears) during a dive the result could be severe dizziness and hearing loss. Therefore, a diver should make it a religious habit free his ears from seawater.

Pulmonary barotrauma is a condition resulting from improper breathing during the climb to the surface or, occasionally, from diving with a respiratory tract infection. Symptoms may often times consist of chest pain and a shortness of breath. The lungs are also in great danger whenever a diver submerges and descends to the waters, along with the brain, blood vessels and other body tissues. Therefore, a diver should ascend slowly and breathe in a normal pace. If you experiences difficulty in breathing and chest pains after diving most likely you have developed this illness.

Most dangers occur when a diver is undertrained and uncertified because this is when there is a greater chance of developing problems. Most severe dive-related injuries and deaths happen in beginning divers. To be safe, always dive within the limits of your experience and level of training. There are numerous certifying agencies offering training for divers, from beginners to experts. Basic courses include classroom instruction, training pools and open-water settings.
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For more information about Scuba Diving visit our comprehensive website at "A Beginner's Guide to Everything Scuba"
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