Gases We Breathe While Diving
A lot of people think, that the
divers breathe while scuba diving is oxygen. Although
the human body needs oxygen to survive, under pressure oxygen can be
toxic. So, the gas divers use from the tank is compressed normal air.
Air is composed of 78.084%
of nitrogen, 20.946% of oxygen and 1% of other gases that have little
or no effect when breathing compressed air. That's the
lot of instructors explain the composition of the air as 79% nitrogen
and 21% of oxygen.
is the most
abundant gas in the atmosphere, but is not used by humans during
respiration. This gas can cause serious issues while
diving and increase the diving risks.
under high pressure can temporally effect our nervous system and
with signal transmissions, causing at greater depths (30 to 40
to 133 feet) the condition known as nitrogen
narcosis. The effect is similar as
being under the influence of alcohol (loss of decision-making ability,
loss of focus, impaired judgment,
multi tasking and coordination).
The most straightforward way to avoid nitrogen narcosis
and create further diving risks is
for a diver to limit the depth of dives. If narcosis does occur, the
effects disappear almost immediately upon ascending to a shallower
addition to its narcotic effects, nitrogen also brings another
issue that adds to the diving risks.
We mentioned already that our body does not use nitrogen during the
respiration while scuba diving. Under pressure nitrogen dissolves into
tissues and starts to accumulate. This must be kept within limits to
prevent nitrogen from coming out of solution and forming bubbles inside
body, known as "decompression
sickness" or "the
Pain and skin rash frequently in the limbs and joints, is the most
common symptom of
sickness. Numbness, dizziness, weakness and fatigue
are also very common symptoms to watch for.
The primary first aid for decompression
to administer oxygen and lie the patient on his left side.
decompression treatment in a chamber has proven highly effective
in reducing or preventing permanent injuries.
avoid the bends divers must minimize the water pressure on the body
slowly at the end of each dive. This will allow the gases
in the bloodstream to gradually break solution and leave the body. This
is done by ascending slowly and making safety stops or decompression stops using dive
computers or decompression
tables for guidance.
Knowing the time limits for each depth will avoid decompression
sickness" or "the
bends or other diving risks.
The use of diving computers and tables will keep you save and will help
avoid diving risks.
you can see while scuba
diving, dives are limited in time and
depth due to the nitrogen. Today thanks to the new technology
have managed to extend our limits. For those divers that
meters/132 feet and for divers who need to spend a lot of time under
a different gas mixture,
training and equipment are required.
dive is when divers carry more than one cylinder,
containing different gas mixtures for a distinct phase of the dive
(descent, bottom, and decompression). These different gas mixtures may
be used to extend bottom time, reduce inert gas narcotic effects, and
reduce decompression times.
The most commonly used mixture is Enriched
Nitrox, which is air with extra oxygen, often with 32% or
36% oxygen (called EAN32
and EAN36, or Nitrox32
and Nitrox36, or Nitrox
I and Nitrox II). This mixture, of course, with less
nitrogen, will reduce diving risks and more important
sickness. Due to the oxygen toxicity divers use nitrox only
in dives where they need to spend a lot of time in depth less
40 meters/ 132 feet, and also during the beginning of their descent to
deep (or deeper) dives.
A mixture of oxygen with helium that also reduces the
percentage of nitrogen is
known as trimix.
The lower density of helium reduces breathing resistance at
depth allowing the gas mix to breathe safely on deep dives.
This mixture is often used during the deep phase of technical diving
and in deep commercial
diving. For example, a mix named "trimix 10/70"
consisting of 10% oxygen,
20% nitrogen is suitable for a
100 meters (330 feet) dive, but it cannot be safely used
at shallow depths. Heliox,
a mixture of 21% oxygen and 79%
helium is also used for deep dives.
travels faster in Helium than in air, during the deep dive, divers
systems have very high-pitch voices, which may be hard to
people not used to it.
how to keep it safe and avoid diving risks?
Remember that being
underwater has limits and risks that professional divers are
willing to take. It is important to remember that recreational scuba
diving is for
fun. Dives between 5 to 20 meters/ 16 to 66 feet can show you the
that was once explored by Cousteau. These depths have the advantage
that provide divers with better light, colours and marine
life. Also during shallow dives you will breathe less air from the
making your dive longer and safer.
Safe Scuba Diving Press Here
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