Do Freedivers Get the Bends?

August 18, 2022 2 min read

You may be wondering, "Do freedivers still get the bends?" There are some things to keep in mind when freediving to avoid injuries. This article will discuss a few factors that influence the risk of getting decompression sickness. First, a freediver should spend at least three times their dive time recovering from decompression sickness. For example, a two-minute dive should be followed by six minutes on the surface.

Can Freedivers Still Get Decompression Sickness?

While freediving is not considered a high-risk sport, some researchers say it is possible to develop decompression sickness. This can happen when a freediver spends long periods at a deep depth and does not take adequate surface intervals. The symptoms of this illness can be severe, including confusion and odd behavior. In severe cases, decompression sickness may be fatal. But even the most experienced freedivers can suffer from the condition.

There are two main ways that freedivers can develop decompression sickness. They can develop the syndrome by inhaling compressed air at a depth, as well as by ascending and holding their breath. In addition, some people have developed the technique of over packing, which involves breathing in a special manner. PFI Advanced and Intermediate Freediver courses include discussion of over packing. Lung over-expansion can lead to an air embolism, a pneumothorax, or ruptured blood vessels in the lungs. They can also develop other conditions such as heart attacks and stroke.

If the diver does not follow the surface interval rule, he or she may suffer from decompression sickness. The symptoms may take hours or days to manifest and will require hospitalization. Decompression sickness is rare among freedivers, but the precautions listed above should be observed to minimize the risk of it occurring. One should avoid diving too deep without proper training. If decompression sickness is a recurring occurrence, it is advisable to return to shallower depths gradually.

Preventing Injuries While Freediving

Those who enjoy freediving should know how to prevent injuries while they are underwater. The pressure created by water while staying under decreases the air volume in specific organs, and the sudden decrease in volume can cause organ rupture and fluid leakage. Common injuries that occur while freediving include lung squeeze and ruptured ear drums. Below are some tips for preventing injuries while freediving. If you're not sure whether you should try freediving, talk to a professional.

First, make sure you don't use your mouth as a snorkel. A snorkel funnels water into your mouth, which in turn causes a Laryngospam spasm reflex, which almost guarantees drowning. Always remove the snorkel before going underwater. This will also help prevent blackouts, which are the brain's safety mechanism, forcing you to breathe despite the lack of oxygen. If you don't know how to use your mouth while freediving, contact a professional or ask a buddy to help you.

To reduce bruising and swelling, apply an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel. You can also use a mask, gloves, and goggles. These are all ways to prevent injuries while freediving. Lastly, be sure to bring a first aid kit with you, so you can treat any injury as soon as possible. You'll be glad you did. If you do end up with a minor injury, it's easy to recover.

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