Scuba diving is fun and exciting activity of many families who travel to exotic areas to travel on vacation. If you are considering options for your activities on vacation, scuba diving may be a viable option but it is important to understand the risks, including the risk for decompression sickness.
For the most part, scuba diving is a relatively safe activity during your travels provided you are prepared for the illness that can arise from engaging in such activity. While more scuba diving instructors will attempt to teach you how to avoid decompression sickness, the fact remains that many people fall ill after scuba diving and will need decompression sickness treatment. Just like altitude sickness treatment, decompression sickness treatment is a common need for those involved in altitude changing activities.
To treat decompression sickness, after you’ve been scuba diving, you will need to seek out medical treatment as often the illness results in complications that can ultimately become life threatening. In treatment, your doctor may recommend that you utilize a hyperbaric oxygen therapy service to rebalance the pressure and gases within your body internally. With your most notable complications involving headache pain, and pain in the joints, your doctor will most likely prescribe electrolyte rebalancing by way of IV and the use of medications to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
If you plan to take a trip that involves scuba diving, be sure to ask the school about the steps they take to avoid decompression sickness from occurring. In many cases, you will be taught how to use dive tables to calculate the depth at which you can scuba dive safely without sustaining illness or injury. But, even with the best preparation, it is possible to sustain injury and suffer form this life threatening health complication.
Decompression sickness, typically, will not occur immediately after your scuba diving activity. In fact, in most children and adults who suffer from the complication, the symptoms begin to manifest as late as 48 hours after treatment. For this reason, be sure you know where the local medical treatment facilities are in your vacation destination or, if you will be home at that point, be sure your family doctor is prepared to see you if symptoms develop. Ultimately, the timing of your decompression sickness treatment will have a great influence on your health outcome.
Sources: Scuba Diving, by Dennis Graver