Understanding pressure change injuries in diving

On Behalf of | Nov 28, 2021 | Maritime Wrongful Death |

When training to dive, whether for pleasure or to advance your career, it’s crucial to be aware of the injuries that can occur and recognize their symptoms.

Non-divers may assume the biggest risk is becoming a snack for a shark. Yet, the most common dangers result from pressure changes when you descend or ascend.

What are the three types of injuries?

There are three types of pressure change injuries you need to worry about:

  • Decompression sickness (commonly known as “the bends”)
  • Barotrauma
  • Nitrogen narcosis

It’s crucial for you and your diving instructors to recognize the warning signs of pressure-related problems. Taking prompt action can avoid a minor discomfort turning into a life-threatening situation. If a person is experiencing tingling, numbness, dizziness, headache, chest pain, confusion, vision problems or trouble breathing, they need medical care immediately.

Symptoms don’t always appear immediately

Some symptoms are apparent straight away, but some take a few hours to manifest. Therefore, it’s essential to pay attention to how you’re feeling, even after you have been out of the water for a while. You also need to avoid flying for a certain amount of time when you’ve been diving. How long that is will depend on factors such as how deep you went and how many other dives you recently. 

The dangers of diving are well known, and the industry is tightly regulated. Therefore those running the dive training course should be alert to the possibility of a pressure-related injury. If you suffer a diving injury or a loved one dies while diving, it is crucial to understand your legal options.