WHAT IS DIVING NARCOSIS?

WHAT IS NARCOSIS?

To better understand this phenomenon...

Narcosis, also called "decompression sickness" is a natural phenomenon due to excess nitrogen that consequently acts on the nervous system and causes strange behaviour. Actually, when diving, we breath in a mixture of several gases and the pressure when diving is going to have a direct impact on them. Dalton's law establishes several rules that govern these gas mixtures and stipulates that from a certain depth onwards, each of these gases, breathed in under pressure, can become dangerous for the diver. So be careful how deep you dive... Particularly if you are going more than 30 metres down!

conseil narcose plongée sous marine subea

HOW DOES NARCOSIS DEVELOP?

In diving, when you go down, you are submitted to pressure due to the weight of the water. And the deeper down you go, the greater this pressure becomes. This pressure is therefore going to have an impact on the air that you breath through your diving cylinder. From 30 metres onwards, narcosis can develop. Nevertheless, 60 metres represents the depth at which each diver will start to feel decompression sickness.
A few aggravating factors for narcosis: the cold, fatigue, consumption of alcohol, stress or even not being physically fit to dive. Regular pool training can therefore be recommended to limit the risks, discover why in our tips on physical training in the pool.

WHAT DOES NARCOSIS LOOK LIKE?

Different symptoms

Behaviour issues can vary from one day to the next for the same person, and they will not be the same for their diving partner. The immediate effects of diving sickness are often temporary and do not normally represent a danger for the diver as long as the signs are recognised in time by his/her team members. Symptoms vary according to your depth: from 30 metres onwards, you might start to feel light euphoria but beyond this depth, symptoms can become much more serious and directly influence your mental capacity such as vision problems, slow reactions, a feeling of solitude, etc. All these symptoms can lead divers to behave inappropriately, they might take risks such as drowning, decompression accidents or even an uncontrolled rise to the surface.

conseil prévenir narcose plongée sous marine subea

PREVENTING AND AVOIDING DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS

A few precautions can limit the risks.

It is hard to anticipate and even harder to prevent narcosis but, as we mentioned previously, a few elements such as physical training, can slow down these effects.
To avoid narcosis as much as possible, it is advisable to dive down to 30 metres and no further. Actually, it is important to note that the deeper the dive, the higher the risk of narcosis, so take care! To limit the risks of narcosis, do not go down too fast and slow down if you are approaching a depth of 30 metres. Be aware that certain diving techniques can completely eliminate the effects of nitrogen narcosis such as using Trimix. Trimix is a mixture of gases that consists of replacing the nitrogen in a bottle with helium. This diving technique requires appropriate training and can be dangerous if it is used by untrained divers.

RELATED TO THIS ARTICLE, SUBEA SUGGESTS :

£24.99*
4.48 / 5 262 ratings
    £22.99*
    4.12 / 5 251 ratings
      £84.99*
      4.43 / 5 7 ratings
        £149.99*
        4.37 / 5 38 ratings
          £54.99*
          4.37 / 5 30 ratings
            £99.99*
            3.00 / 5 2 ratings
              £14.99*
              3.30 / 5 589 ratings

                DISCOVER OTHER DIVING TIPS !

                Advice
                conseil plongée bouteille avion sécurité indonésie alor rumah biru subea
                Have you decided to treat yourself to a diving excursion in warm waters? Then you'll have to be careful, flying and diving don't mix well. Subea is here to give you some tips on flying safely before and after a diving trip!

                ARTICLE CO-WRITTEN WITH

                victor vendeur decathlon coignières
                Alexandre, salesperson at Decathlon in Coignières

                I have been a salesperson at Decathlon in Coignières and a scuba diver for 9 years. Although mainly specialised in cave diving, I do enjoy all types of diving. I am currently FFESSM level 3 with a "Technical Full Cave Diver" speciality.

                TOP OF PAGE