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Diving
Diving has become a popular activity during vacations and there are few limits to diving if you are in a reasonable physical shape. However, there are certain rules which must be respected and a certificate documenting training is necessary to rent equipment.

Diving has become a popular activity during vacations and there are few limits to diving if you are in a reasonable physical shape.However, there are certain rules which must be respected and a certificate documenting training is necessary to rent equipment.

Who should consult their doctor before taking up diving ?
Every healthy person is in principle fit for diving. Certain diseases are not compatible with diving or require careful consideration and care including: asthma and other chronic lung diseases, heart diseases, diabetes (especially insulin dependent) ear infections and epilepsy. Ask your doctor or your divers club if you are in doubt. 
If you have a diving certificate and plan to dive, upper respiratory tract infections, which obstruct the Eustachian tube between the throat and the middle ear, will cause pain and even a burst middle ear membrane during diving.

Can i dive if I am taking mefloquine for malaria ?
If you are fit it pose no problem. Side effects from any drug may cause your dive to be cancelled.
Mefloquine has received a reputation for side effects and some divingc entres has adopted their own rules excluding travellers on mefloquine from diving.
This is their choice and must be respected, however, there is no medical evidence that people who tolerate mefloquine can not dive.

During diving:
  • Never dive alone
  • Keep the stipulated times for ascent
  • Be familiar with the signs of divers disease (bends) and nitrogen narcosis.
  • Be well hydrated before diving.
  • Do not work hard during the dive.
  • Do not drink alcohol before diving.
  • Always use approved tables of ascent times, normally 10 meter per minute and slower with deep dives.

    Divers disease (Bends)
    When the pressure increase with increasing dept, more air can be dissolved in the blood following simple, universal physical rules.
    With a too rapid ascent the pressure decrease and the dissolved gas are released and form small bubbles in the blood vessels. The bubbles will block the blood vessels causing reduced blood flow and lack of oxygen in the tissues. The symptoms include: headache, muscle- and joint pains, tiredness, tingling sensation in arms and legs and a rash. The symptoms may develop into unconsciousness and death. The symptoms may develop up to 24 hours after the dive has been completed, and do usually not develop immediately.

    Treatment
    Decompression. Before diving at depths below 30 meters make sure you know how to access decompression facilities.

    Air travel after diving
    The pressure in the cabin of an aircraft varies, but is usually equivalent to an altitude of between 1,200 and 2,000 meters.
    Flying within 24 hours of a dive may there precipitate divers disease and flight should not take place within 24 hours after a dive.

    Edited: 26 December 2008