Diving can be a fun and rewarding experience. It gives you the opportunity to overcome challenges and experience the world around you in a different way. However, it also presents a certain set of dangers, one of which includes experiencing vertigo while diving. While most divers have experienced vertigo at one time or another, there are certain things that you can do to limit its severity. In some cases, you might be able to prevent yourself from experiencing it all together. This is imperative in order to dive safely, as complications from vertigo can have severe consequences.
What Is Vertigo?
Vertigo is a sensation that the entire world is moving or spinning, even when you are completely stationary. You might think of it as a severe case of dizziness that becomes worse whenever you move your head. Some people experience vertigo on a routine basis because of chronic disorders. For most divers, it has a lot more to do with the pressure inside the inner ear. There is a delicate balance of pressure that is regulated by your inner ear. It is essentially what allows you to turn your head or be in any moving vehicle and still maintain your sense of balance. When this pressure is no longer equalized, you start to feel dizzy.
Potential Complications of Vertigo While Diving
Obviously, this can present a certain amount of danger while you’re driving, especially if the vertigo becomes severe. The condition can range from a bit of lightheadedness to severe dizziness, nausea and vomiting which essentially prevent you from functioning normally. If you are underwater and you can no longer disseminate which direction you need to go in order to ascend safely, you could find yourself in real trouble very quickly. In addition, severe cases of vertigo can cause you to lose consciousness. Clearly, this is not something that you want to experience while you’re diving. Fortunately, you can take some control of the situation by making small changes to your diving routine.
What Can You Do?
Your first step is to realize that there are a lot of pressure changes when you are diving, thanks to the changes in pressure underwater. You don’t have to go very far underwater to experience these changes. This is where most drivers get in trouble. They have a tendency to underestimate how quickly the pressure can change as they dive down. It’s usually far less than most drivers initially calculate. The key is to dive down slowly and give yourself a few breaks where you are simply maintaining your position in order to give your middle ear a chance to adjust. If you start to feel dizzy, stop where you are and give it a few minutes. This is even more important when you ascend. It’s imperative that you ascend slowly and that you give yourself time to adjust whenever you start to feel like something isn’t quite right.
By simply descending and ascending at a slower rate, you can dramatically reduce your chances of experiencing vertigo while diving. Remember, it’s important to stop where you are and give yourself a chance to adjust to the pressure if you start feeling unwell. This will allow you to dive in a safe manner. In addition, it gives you the chance to enjoy your adventures to the fullest.