Frequent question: Why do divers suffer from the bends?

What happens when you get the bends?

(Decompression Illness; Caisson Disease; The Bends)

Decompression sickness is a disorder in which nitrogen dissolved in the blood and tissues by high pressure forms bubbles as pressure decreases. Symptoms can include fatigue and pain in muscles and joints.

Why does decompression sickness occur?

Decompression sickness (DCS) occurs when dissolved gasses (usually nitrogen or helium, used in mixed gas diving) exit solution and form bubbles inside the body on depressurization.

Why do the bends hurt?

It’s caused by moving too quickly towards the surface of the water, where the pressure is lower. The symptoms, which can be deadly, fitted what I was experiencing.

Will the bends go away on its own?

In some cases, symptoms may remain mild or even go away by themselves. Often, however, they strengthen in severity until you must seek medical attention, and they may have longer-term repercussions.

Can you get decompression sickness in a pool?

Decompression sickness is not totally dependent on deep/long dives. Uncontrolled or even controlled successive ascents in a short period, such as those experienced during pool training, can cause microbubbles to form in the blood stream, leading to DCI.

What does the bends feel like?

The most common signs and symptoms of the bends include joint pains, fatigue, low back pain, paralysis or numbness of the legs, and weakness or numbness in the arms. Other associated signs and symptoms can include dizziness, confusion, vomiting, ringing in the ears, head or neck pain, and loss of consciousness.

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