Scuba diving requires certification courses to prepare for dangers. Sharks and large fish are not major threats, but lack of training can lead to decompression sickness. Ear and sinus problems are common injuries. Safe diving tips include equalizing, not holding breath, diving with a buddy, and consulting a doctor.
Scuba diving offers a wonderful way to see the intriguing underworld of any ocean or lake. To be a competent diver, one should take a dive certification course offered at a variety of dive schools around the world. Scuba certification classes can help newcomers to the sport prepare for the dangers they may encounter. Advanced certification classes are also available to help experienced divers continue to gain more diving knowledge and experience. Scuba divers should never dive alone and should always make sure their instruments, tanks and other equipment are in good working order.
The average person may think that sharks and other large fish may pose a clear and present danger to divers. In contrast, according to the Diver’s Alert Network, sharks and other large fish account for almost none of the 100 underwater deaths that occur each year. Most shark attacks occur when victims are standing or swimming in the water near shore.
The greatest concern about the dangers associated with scuba diving comes into play if someone has not been properly trained or certified. Such a person may rise to the surface of the water too quickly, causing the dreaded condition known as the bends, a decompression sickness with effects that can range from discomfort and vomiting to paralysis and even death.
Most diving injuries involve ear problems and sinus problems. When a person experiences middle ear pain and discomfort due to the pressure changes inherent in scuba diving, doctors refer to this as “squeezing.” Other typical injuries associated with scuba diving are cuts and scrapes from fish, coral and wrecks.
The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these additional tips for safe diving:
Gently equalize your ears and mask as you descend.
Never hold your breath while climbing. Always come up slowly breathing normally.
Always dive with a buddy.
Never drink alcohol before a dive.
If you are on any medications, consult a physician before diving.
Also consult your doctor if you have any medical conditions.
Do not fly for 12 hours after a no decompression dive, 24 hours if the dive required a decompression stop.
If you feel unwell or experience any pain after diving, go to the nearest emergency room.