The depth someone can go when diving varies from person to person. It is possible to get the bends from going too deep, but divers need to be especially concerned not with how deep they dive, but how fast they come up from that dive. When drivers come up too fast, there’s not enough time for the nitrogen in their blood to safely be released. It’s important to rise slowly and stop periodically so that nitrogen can be released in a safe way.
Dive tables will help to determine the depth and speed that a diver should follow while diving. There are several steps that divers can take to help prevent the bends, including: not flying 12-24 hours after diving, not diving in cold water, not diving while dehydrated or intoxicated, not diving repetitively or exerting a lot of energy while diving, not jogging right after diving and not diving with injuries.
The bends is another name for decompression sickness or decompression syndromes. Over 500 people in the United States suffer from decompression sickness per year. Symptoms for the bends generally appear within 24-48 hours, with 95% of people reporting symptoms within the first 6 hours. Some symptoms of the bends include: pain or aching in the joints, itchy skin, red or marbled skin, painful or swollen lymph nodes, numbness or pain on one side of the body, shooting pain, chest pain or cough, and inner ear issues.
Generally, any dive that stays between 0 and 20 feet from the surface is considered safe; there is virtually no risk of decompression sickness even if you ascend quickly without doing a safety stop. At these shallow depths, the body doesn’t absorb enough nitrogen for the diver to be in danger of getting decompression sickness.
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