4 Essential Tips to Avoid Decompression Sickness (DCS)

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Decompression sickness (DCS) plagues just about every diver.

It’s a common illness characterized by a tingling sensation on the skin or unrelenting joint pains. Rare albeit worse forms of DCS comprise of full blown blood curdling, which can lead to grave consequences.

No matter how experienced you are, you can still be susceptible to DCS. So here are some reminders and tips on how to avoid it.

  1. Never fly while symptomatic

Far too many divers have made their DCS worse when they decided to fly after diving. Dive physicians always caution divers to wait up to 72 hours after receiving hyperbaric treatment and become completely symptom-free first before flying.

  1. Plan, plan, plan

It’s critical to always plan your dive. With that, you need to bring along your dive computer with you. This way, you are always aware of the dive site, depths of the site and map out the time frame if need be. Just remember to plan conservatively and leave a margin for any changes like unpredictable water currents.

  1. Don’t dive when drunk

Countless divers are too stubborn to heed this warning. That’s why they end up with inferior blood circulation once underwater. Not only that. Divers who are intoxicated when they go underwater are dehydrated, which affects the overall performance of the body. Plus, their judgment can be impaired, which can ultimately lead to more problematic situations.

  1. Adhere to safety stops

Your dive computer is your best friend underwater. When it indicates a safety or deep stop, follow it. Just to be surer and safer, extend that stop just a bit longer. Otherwise, you could be dealing with small air bubbles inside of you that will be difficult to deal with.

 

Image source: scubadiving.com