A VHF marine radio is the single most important radio system you should buy. It is probably also the most inexpensive. Most boaters have questions about their boat’s radio, the correct way to use their radio, how the radio works and what license they need. The basic radio practices can be learned quite fast.
A nautical chart gives you the relevant information required to make a safe passage plan using the charted fixed marks such as buoys and landmarks, so that you can take bearings and maintain a correct course.
You may gain pilotage information with the help of the nautical chart regarding the position and nature that is favourable to the navigator. The chart holds crucial information such as landmarks, seamarks and seabed information.
If you want to go out on a dive through a dive center or a resort, you’ve probably been told you need to get certified before you can hit the water. Certification just means that you have been trained in the use of the equipment and safe scuba diving techniques.
There are several types of scuba certifications, so it helps to understand what you need before you go on a trip or plan your first dive. There are many, many types of specialty certifications you can obtain as well, which we won’t get into here. If you want to learn more about specialty training, such as cavern or ice diving, you can visit Padi.com.
PADI Open Water Diver Rating
Most divers start with the PADI Open Water Diver rating, which allows you to rent or purchase scuba gear, get air fills, participate in professionally led dives and dive in conditions like those you trained in.
PADI, or the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, is the largest scuba certifying agency on earth and more than 60% of divers get certified by PADI.
To get this certification, you must finish five confined water dives, five academic sessions and four open water dives. The confined dives are usually done in a lake or pool. The dives can be completed in 1-5 days and you will learn basic skills like regulator clearing and mask clearing.
PADI Scuba Diver Certification
If you don’t have much time and you want to start diving on your trip, this course requires just 3 academic sessions, 3 confined water dives and 2 open water dives. You will only be allowed to dive to 40 feet under the supervision of a PADI professional, though.
Adventure Diver Rating
Adventure Diver is the next step after you get an Open Water Diver rating. This course introduces you to new types of adventures, including wreck diving, underwater photography and more. You get to try three dives of your choice and you can move on to a PADI Specialty course like Deep Diver, Boat Diver, Wreck Diver or Night Diver.
Advanced Open Water Diver Rating
You can also go straight from Open Water Diver courses to the Advanced Open Water Diver course, which builds on your skills and helps you get more comfortable underwater. You’ll take adventure dives to introduce you to deeper water between 60 and 100 feet and underwater navigation.
Rescue Diver and Master Scuba Diver Ratings
If you want to continue with your certification, you can move through Rescue Diver — with specialties like Divemaster, Master Instructor and Course Director courses — into Master Scuba Diver, which requires at least 5 PADI Specialty courses and at least 50 logged dives.
Qualifications to Get Certified
You must be at least 10 to participate in most certification courses, but kids between 10 and 12 must attend with a parent and dive with a parent or professional. Kids are issued a Jr. Open Water Diver certification until they are 15.
You will also need to meet other qualifications, many of which are not imposed by PADI. As a diving student, you must answer a diving medical questionnaire before you can start a beginner’s course. Because the high pressure you will experience may negatively impact you, some physical conditions can be very dangerous underwater.
Examples of issues that may keep you from diving include: lung issues like asthma, allergies, ear issues like problems with equalization, certain diseases, and recent surgery, including cosmetic surgery.
I met someone recently who was disappointed that she couldn’t get a diving certification for her upcoming trip to Hawaii. She had visited a Los Angeles rhinoplasty specialist and received this procedure Spaldingplasticsurgery.com/Face/Rhinoplasty two months before, and she thought she’d be okay to dive. She learned that it was much too soon, so she had to go on her trip and miss out on scuba diving.
If you have any doubts about whether you’ll be able to dive, talk with the PADI instructor ahead of time, as well as your doctor.
When most people think of a great scuba diving destination, they think of the coast of Australia or Florida. This doesn’t mean there aren’t great spots to check out inland, too, and Chicago is definitely one of my favorite places to go diving. Chicago is a great example of an unlikely scuba destination, and it has something for everyone with fun dive locales, great scuba schools and the opportunity to dive shipwrecks.
Chicago Dive Schools
Chicago has quite a few excellent dive schools that offer refresher courses, advance divemaster certification and advanced open water courses. Chicago Scuba School is one of the more well-known schools if you’re on a budget and want PADI certification, but I ended up going to Learn Scuba Chicago, located on Ashland Avenue. The instructors here were very patient with me and helped me get my feet wet again.
If you’re a first-time diver, discuss your comfort level with the instructor to get help. Also be aware that you will need to fill out a medical questionnaire regardless of which dive school you visit in Chicago.
There are several physical conditions that can hold you back from taking the diving courses you need to get certified. This includes asthma and other lung issues, allergies, ear conditions like problems with equalization, and any recent surgery, such as cosmetic surgery.
While I was attending the academic sessions for my certification, there was a woman who was hoping to learn how to scuba dive. When she was handed the questionnaire, she took the instructor aside and told him she had received the best rhinoplasty in Chicago about two months before from Dr. George T. Moynihan, M.D.. She was really disappointed to learn that she wouldn’t be able to dive yet until her doctor gave her the all-clear, and that could take another couple of months.
Just keep this in mind and talk to the instructor at the school of your choice before you pay for classes or get your hopes up.
The biggest reason to head to Chicago for scuba diving? The amazing shipwreck dives in Lake Michigan. Underwater Safaris offers diving trips at some of the most well-known wrecks in the Lake, but you can head out on your own if you have enough experience. I started off taking a dive trip through Underwater Safaris and it was really a blast.
A good beginner site is the Straits Of Mackinac, a 200-foot steam-powered passenger ferry that was sank intentionally as a dive site at 73 feet. The wreck is completely intact and you can dive through it with some experience.
The Wings of Wind is a good choice if you want some amazing photos. This is the wreck of a 130-foot wooden schooner that sank in 1866 after it collided with the H.P. Baldwin. It sits at just 49 feet and the bow is completely intact with the windlass and bowsprit.
The best adventure, if you love nighttime diving, is the site of the Flora M. Hill, a 130-foot steamer that was crushed by ice in 1912, the same year the Titanic sank. The ship is scattered at 38 feet with a lot intact. During my dive, I even spotted some salamanders in the boiler tubes. I recommend diving this site on Wednesday or Saturday night, when fireworks go off.
The Bottom Line
Sure, you could head to Florida if you want to take in tourist-packed scuba sites and wrecks that have been seen by millions, by Chicago offers more of the unknown. Many of the wrecks in the Great Lakes are older than any you will see elsewhere around the United States, and a dive in the cold waters will leave you with the experience of a lifetime.
I recently stumbled across one of the coolest trends I’ve ever seen in diving: thousands of couples every year are choosing to make their vows under the water. Can you imagine a more beautiful way to start a new life? Just imagining it almost makes me want to run out and get married.
If you’re currently engaged to a fellow scuba enthusiast, or you want a neat way to share your passion with someone you live, you can book underwater wedding packages almost anywhere, including Bali, Mexico and Florida.
Why Get Married Underwater?
There are countless reasons! Maybe you met on a dive trip and want to recapture that experience and come full circle. Maybe you took lessons together years ago and fell in love with the water. Perhaps you’re both dive enthusiasts always excited to go on the next trip, or maybe you just want to add some adventure to your big day.
Getting married in the ocean is a unique and fun way to celebrate a new life together, not just for you and your fiance but also for everyone involved!
How it Works
In an underwater wedding, the bride and groom wear scuba diving marks, so this means diving lessons are in order for some. Some couples even wear traditional wedding clothes, but not always. Sometimes the guests dive with the couple, but many guests don’t want to. Instead, they follow along while remaining on the boat at the service with a live feed of the vows. You can have your party on the boat afterward or on a nearby beach.
The Best Places to Get Married Underwater
I did some research to find some of the coolest places to get married underwater. Here’s what I came up with.
1. The Bahamas through Stuart’s Cove. This company allows you to get married among sharks or even a shipwreck.
2. The Ithaa Undersea Restaurant in the Maldives. This is the first all-glass undersea restaurant, which can be booked privately for weddings or any other special occasion. This is a good option if you have a lot of guests who are a little afraid of actually diving along with you but want to be there.
3. Get married on a submarine in Maui, Hawaii to get married at up to 150 feet, or get married in a shark tank at the Maui Ocean Center.
4. Poseidon Resort in Fiji will open soon with underwater hotel suites and a wedding chapel underwater.
Plan Ahead and Consider the Details
A lot of planning goes into an underwater wedding. Do you know what type of bouquet the bride will have? In Bali, they’ll give you a bouquet of underwater lilies. How will you take your prepared vows with you? Most couples use laminated, waterproof sheets. After you decide on a location, research companies that can set up your wedding for you.
Unless you and your fiance are both experienced divers, you’ll also need to take dive classes ahead of time. You should also consider any health concerns prior to getting married underwater, as the experience isn’t for everyone. If your fiance is claustrophobic or afraid of the water, it’s probably not going to be an option. Given the fact that so many brides (and grooms) get plastic surgery ahead of their wedding these days, make sure you understand how that will affect your plans, too.
I read online about one woman who read this Melbourne plastic surgery Tumblr blog and decided to get this procedure: DrClevens.com/Facelift.htm. She was planning to get married underwater 3 months later, but she found out that she couldn’t because she still hadn’t recovered from the procedure. If you’re dealing with any medical issues, you may have to settle for an underwater honeymoon suite or restaurant instead.
With more people getting into scuba diving — and more people interested in non-traditional weddings — I’m often asked if it’s appropriate or even possible to register for scuba gear for their wedding. Actually, it’s not just possible, it’s more common than you may think!
If you’re not crazy about the idea of registering for fine china and you want something you will actually use with your spouse, what better than scuba diving equipment to help the two of you continue to enjoy spending time together?
Scuba Gear for a Destination Wedding
If you’re planning to go scuba diving on your honeymoon or have your wedding on the beach, your guests won’t consider it at all strange if you register for scuba gear rather than household items. Many diving companies and dive supply stores even allow you to set up online registries so your guests can get you everything you need for your trip.
What About an Underwater Wedding?
Some couples don’t just register for what they need after the wedding; they think ahead. If you and your fiance are passionate divers, you may want to consider an underwater wedding. If you go this route, you can register for the wedding package, or the scuba gear you will need to make it happen.
How to Register for Scuba Gear
The best way to start is searching for businesses that sell the items you need. Many online scuba gear retailers have online registries, which is convenient for guests and saves them the trouble of going to a dive shop in person to try to locate equipment they’ve never heard of before! Because your guests are buying from your registry as a show of their love, don’t make them go out of their way to do it.
There are several online scuba retailers that have registries. REI.com and DiversDirect.com are two of the big names for gear. You can also register for scuba classes and equipment through DixieDiver.com.
If you can’t find a dive site that has an online registry, almost all of them have gift certificates. You can make your own wedding registry cards that request gift cards from the scuba retailer of your choice.
Don’t Be Afraid to Register for Scuba Diving!
Trust me, your guests won’t be at all put off if you register for scuba gear, lessons or even a diving trip during your honeymoon, and I’ve personally seen much crazier registries. I attended a wedding two months ago in which the couple asked guests to contribute to their savings for this procedure Hamiltonfps.com/Facelift.html at Hamilton Facial Plastic Surgery.
If registering for surgery is acceptable these days, you should go ahead and feel comfortable registering for scuba gear that you will actually use, rather than linens that will never see the light of day again. Think about what you need, and what you’d like to do together. Whether you want to go diving on your honeymoon, get married underwater or get new equipment to continue sharing your passion for the water together, your guests will be happy that they can give you something they know you’ll love.
While warm coastal states like California and Florida may seem like the better options for diving, many people don’t realize that Illinois and even New York can be great destinations for scuba diving. New York City has a long history as a port city, and with this comes many shipwrecks along its coast for you to explore.
Many New Yorkers raise serious doubts about diving anywhere near the city. “You can’t dive the East River,” they say, or, “What could you even see? We don’t have any reefs.” Actually, there’s quite a bit of great wrecks to check out.
There are hundreds of shipwrecks dotting the waters around Long Island, through Brooklyn and to northern New Jersey in an area local scuba divers call Wreck Alley. Here are some cool things you can check out.
The USN Algol
This massive 400-foot decommissioned transport ship rests near Brick, New Jersey and it’s one of the most popular dives in Wreck Alley. This ship saw action in the Korean War and WWII and it was sunk in 1991 to become part of the New Jersey Artificial Reef Program.
The ship is perfectly upright in only 70 feet of water, with the main deck resting at 110 feet. All of the doors and windows were removed before it was sunk, so you can really explore the ship. It already boasts a thriving colony of scallops and mussels, and you may get lucky enough to see dog sharks and blue sharks in the water. Be sure to take a mesh bag with you to grab some scallops, mussels and lobster as long as your dive boat has a general purpose game license.
The Lizzie D
The Lizzie D is a great dive during the summer because it’s just 80 feet deep and only 8 miles southeast of the Atlantic Beach inlet in Nassau County. The ship was also known as the Rum Runner and it sank off the coast of Brooklyn in the 20′s. It had contraband whiskey cargo during prohibition, and for many years after it sank, divers were scavenging the bodies.
Are You Ready to Hit the Waters?
This isn’t diving in the shallow, warm waters of Miami, so you’ll need to be prepared. The waters here are more extreme, so you’ll need Advanced Open Water training and a 7mm wet suit. Because many of the wrecks in the area are so advanced, it’s a good idea to get checked out by a doctor, too, before you head up to New York to dive down through Wreck Alley.
You should be able to clear your sinuses, for example, and you may want to talk to a doctor about any sinus or breathing difficulties you have, especially on these deep dives. If you’ve had any work done, like a New York rhinoplasty procedure, you’ll probably have to wait at least six months, according to Dr. Miller of DrPhilipMiller.tumblr.com. If you have chronic sinus issues, you may not be able to make these deep dives.
Many times when people realize that their home has gone up in value, the immediate thought that goes into their mind is to refinance.
One of the reasons they do this is to fund their further education in fields like Oceanography. That in itself is not a bad thing but did you know there are some hidden disadvantages to refinancing a mortgage that most people are not aware of? Consider the following.
The Costs Of Refinancing.
Like any mortgage, there are costs involved when you take on refinancing. You will have to meet loan processing fees, mortgage broker fees, appraisal fess and any other fees that are applicable.
This may not be a bad thing but if you only took out your first mortgage recently, it becomes more costly to have to meet the same costs so soon after forking out money for a similar reason.
One may argue that they will not get this money from their pocket directly but at the end of the day, whether you pay it on the spot or pay it in monthly installments you are still meeting that cost.
Reduced Ownership Of Your Home.
Each mortgage payment you make takes you closer to full ownership of your home. When you choose to refinance, you reduce how much of your home you own and that means you will have to wait much longer in order to consider that home truly yours.
With reduced ownership comes an increased possibility of losing that home to your creditors should you fail to make your monthly mortgage payments in time. This is particularly likely if your Oceanographic career delays to take off as you had hoped. Think about that!
Many people during the housing boom refinanced their home for all sorts of things, many of them frivolous. I know one woman who found Dr. Holcomb’s Tumblr and decided to cash in the equity of her home for expensive treatments at a Sarasota medspa. Another acquaintance used the equity in their home to build a swimming pool and get expensive “toys” like ATVs. One of these people lost their home, and the other was left barely hanging on.
Education is a wonderful pursuit, and certainly not a frivolous way to use your home as an asset, but make sure you can afford it.
Unstable Interest Rates.
Before you take on a second mortgage, think about the matter of interest on that loan. Interest rates keep fluctuating and should they take a huge jump upwards you will have to pay even double what your monthly bill has been.
With incomes not always increasing at the same rate as interest rates, chances of defaulting on your mortgage payments are high when interest rates go up. You could lose your home when that happens!
How Easy Is It To Get An Oceanography Job?
It is possible to justify taking on a second mortgage in order to finance your studies if you are already working and you wish to get better skills in order to perform better or get a promotion that is coming up.
If you are not yet employed however, you may need to seriously consider your prospects before you take out that second mortgage as you may be stuck with a huge debt yet there is no job for you as soon as you graduate. You should already have a good idea of the type of field of oceanography you want to pursue, know who’s hiring in this field, and know your chances of getting a job.
Every decision you make in life must be properly thought out before it is made. Whether you are considering refinancing or plastic surgery, you must think twice before you make the decision to go for it. Thinking about decisions involves gathering all the necessary information so that your decision is an informed one. That Oceanography degree may or may not be worth taking out a second mortgage for so think before you act!
Scuba diving has grown in popularity over the last 40 years. When it was first making its debut on the scene of oceanic exploration and activities, it was almost exclusively used by the Navy SEALs, and the explorer Jacques Cousteau. It was viewed as a complicated, dangerous activity and frightened many people because of the lack of common knowledge and good experiences presented to society.
Now, just about anyone who meets a standard of health and interest can certify as a scuba diving instructor, or even qualify in the area of scuba diving to create a career around exploration, oceanography, even forensics. Whether you are interested in becoming a scuba diving expert, instructor, or are looking to see if it could present acceptable career opportunities, or perhaps you are just looking into scuba diving to either enjoy on a vacation or take up as a leisurely hobby, here are a few points to consider before taking the plunge!
If you have a fear of water, or cannot swim, then clearly scuba diving is not going to be a likely enjoyable activity for you; if you are very committed to taking up scuba diving, then it is best to work on being more confident in the water before you pursue it further. If you are comfortable in water, then the next thing is to consider the gear and scuba wear you will be wearing. Pressurized oxygen tanks, face masks, and a tight fitting wet suit are the common get up. These add weight to you and cover your face, if you have claustrophobia concerns, consider whether or not a mask will make you uncomfortable.
Outside of these things, there is health concerns that should be taken under careful consideration. Any and all scuba divers, new or seasoned, are required to take a health/ medical questionnaire. Starting with the first and very important aspect of scuba diving is the pulmonary system. The pulmonary system is responsible for providing oxygen through intake, exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide and expelling the carbon dioxide from the body and feeding the body’s tissues, organs, and the brain. If you have pulmonary medical conditions you could suffer harm and serious injury if it is a condition your doctor advises against scuba diving. Inner ear health is another thing you need to determine. If you suffer from something such as vertigo you could have major equalization and balance concerns after a scuba diving session.
Surgery is another serious concern when it comes to you and scuba diving. Anything from stitches to something more serious such as plastic surgery, whether restorative or elective, could be a disqualifier. Renown clinical experts, including several leading cosmetic surgeons in Houston, TX, have made across the board recommendations that anyone have had recent (2 years or less) cosmetic surgery should obtain a consultation for the sole purpose of determining whether or not scuba diving is a wise decision.
According to one Texas surgeon I spoke with, women should always consult with their surgeon before diving after receiving Houston breast implants or any other major procedure. If you had cosmetic surgery in a city but do not live there, it can be a pain to return for a 20 minute consultation, but it is very, very important prior to a scuba diving activity. Always consult your doctor before participating in a new, potentially dangerous activity if you have health concerns.
Taking a medical questionnaire will provide a pointer as the whether or not you can physically handle the demands it will place on you, or if there are some red flags to have cleared before you embark on a scuba diving journey.
Miami has long been a hot destination for tourists and vacationers. With year-round sunshine, clean beaches, beautiful architecture and world-class shopping, it’s easy to see why millions flock to the area every year. While some go to Miami for the nightlife or beaches, divers know it as one of the best dive spots in Florida, and one of the best places in the world for wreck diving.
From natural reefs to decades old sunken ships, it’s amazing what’s waiting for you to discover just off the shores.
Miami Beach Wreck Trek
This is one of the coolest dive sites around because it’s actually several wrecks linked by a guide cable. This shallow dive off Miami Beach starts with a pair of Vietnam-era army tanks placed in 1994. As you follow a guide cable, you’ll encounter tons of limestone boulders and more wrecks, including the Rio Miami, a 105-foot tug. There are plans to add eight more tanks to the site, which is great for spotting marine life because lobsters, fish and moray eels have plenty of places to hide.
The Belzona trio is there sunken tug boasts off the coast of Miami Beach. The Belzona Ona is an 85-foot tug sunk in 1990. Seventy five feet away you’ll hit the Belzona Two. The deepest of the three is a 100-foot tug at a depth of 85 feet. Not far from the trio is the Belcher Barge #27, which was sunk in the 80s. The last wreck can only be penetrated by experienced divers because the barge flipped on its way to the ocean floor.
The Almirante is a 200-foot ship sunk in 1975 by the Dade Sports Commission. Often called the Queen of Miami, you can find the wreck off of Elliot Key. The wreck was damaged by a hurricane in 1992, but it’s still a great dive with beautiful growth from the last three decades.
Tips for First Timers
If you’re a first time diver, there are several diving schools you can check out once you get into town, including South Beach Divers in South Miami Beach and Grove Scuba in Coconut Grove. Scuba diving lessons are necessary before you get into the water, but you don’t have to stop there. Many schools offer packages to take you to some of the best wreck dives for beginners, so you can feel comfortable diving with other people.
If you’ve never been scuba diving, I also recommend getting cleared by your doctor before you leave for your trip. You can also consult with a doctor once you get into Miami to make sure you don’t have any health issues, including sinus problems, that may be dangerous.
Because Miami is also the capital of cosmetic surgery and medical tourism, I feel it’s also necessary to end with one final word of caution. Many people take a trip to South Florida planning to combine cosmetic surgery like a rhinoplasty in Miami with time on the beach. Be aware that you can’t go diving for up to 6 months following facial surgery, according to Dr. Bustillo of http://www.drbustillo.com. Don’t make the mistake of many tourists; get in your diving before you go any procedures in town.
Medical tourism is rising in popularity, and many people from the United States and aboard now want to combine Botox and other procedures with an oceanside vacation, take in a little scuba diving and relax on the sand. Many medical travel agencies and facilities have responded to this need by creating travel packages at oceanside resorts with spa treatments before and after procedures.
Here are 3 places you can combine a luxury vacation complete with scuba diving and popular cosmetic procedures. Just be sure to arrive at your destination a week before your procedure so you can enjoy some diving before you go under the knife!
1. Bangkok, Thailand
Banggok is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and it boasts modern hospitals, highly skilled doctors and cosmetic surgery performed for a fraction of the price of doctors in the United States. Breast augmentation, facelifts, nose jobs and even iris implants are popular here, and prices are about 70% less than you’d pay a surgeon like Dr. Dan Shapiro in Scottsdale, Arizona, or a surgeon in Canada or the U.K.
Bangkok also boasts some great dive sites you can check out before you check in with your doctor. Pattaya is the most popular diving spot and it’s just a quick trip from Bangkok. Some of the best diving areas are in the Far Islands, which have 20 different sites featuring soft and hard corals, Moray eels, porcupine puffer fish, turtles and stingrays. The area also has two great shipwrecks to dive, including the HTMS Khram, which was sunk by the Thai Navy for divers, and the Hardeep, sunk during World War II.
2. San Jose, Costa Rica
San Jose is a popular destination for facelifts like this: http://shapiroplasticsurgery.com/surgical-procedures/face/face-lift/face-lift.php. Whereas American surgeons like Dr. Shapiro charge $6,000 to $15,000, the same procedure costs between $3,500 and $5,000 in Costa Rica. The country is also just 7-10 hours from most major cities in the United States, which makes it much more convenient than flying to Thailand.
Costa Rica borders the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, so there’s no shortage of fun dive spots to enjoy before your procedure. The waters around the island of Caño are especially amazing, because the area is protected by the government, keeping it pristine and full of wildlife. You’ll encounter white tip reef sharks, turtles and mobula rays on a regular basis, and sometimes even spot a whale shark or a large bull shark. Water visibility here is excellent as well with temperatures in the 70s and 80s most of the year.
3. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
What better place to enjoy an oceanside vacation than Brazil? The country boasts beautiful sun-kissed beaches and no shortage of beautiful people. Brazil has the most plastic surgeons of any country and even provides tax deductions to its citizens to support cosmetic procedures. Rio de Janeiro has become a popular destination for facelifts, rhinoplasty, tummy tucks and the famous Brazilian butt lift, all of which cost under $6,500.
You can also enjoy world-class scuba diving in a small fishing village just outside of Rio. Arraial do Cabo offers the perfect conditions for diving with great rock formations, corals, reefs, sea turtles and shipwrecks, all visible in the clear waters. This is also a wonderful dive site for first timers.
As humans have become more adept at diving, and as we continue to develop new technology that allows us to go deeper into the ocean, a new form of specialty medicine has been necessary. Dive medicine, or undersea and hyperbaric medicine (UHB), involves the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the wide range of conditions caused by humans entering the water. This area of medicine focuses on the effects of pressure on the body, treatment of conditions caused by hazards in the water and how a diver’s fitness level affects dive safety.
Many doctors who specialize in dive medicine also work in hyperbaric medicine. This is because recompression in a hyperbaric chamber is often used to treat two of the most serious dive-related conditions: decompression illness and arterial gas embolism.
Diving medicine is a part of sports medicine and it’s important for every diver to have working knowledge of the risks associated with diving, and know the symptoms to watch for the indicate it’s time to see a dive specialist.
Diagnosing Common Diving Disorders
A large part of dive medicine involves diagnosing diving disorders that may become apparent during a dive or up to many hours later. As a diver, you should also understand these conditions and know what to watch for.
Decompression sickness (DCS) happens when gas breathed under high pressures dissolves in the tissue of the body, forming bubbles as pressure is reduced on ascent. This condition often causes pain in the joints and the bubbles may create a blockage in an artery that leads to serious damage or death.
Pulmonary Barotrauma and Arterial Gas Embolism
If the gas in a diver’s lungs does not escape during ascent, the lungs may expand too far, rupturing the tissues. This gas can then enter arterial circulation and cause an arterial gas embolism, which can cause damage similar to decompression sickness.
This condition is caused b the pressure of gas in the body that impairs the nervous system. Nitrogen narcosis can cause changes to the thought process and decrease judgment. It can also impact motor skills. As the depth increases, so does the severity.
High concentrations of oxygen can become toxic and overcome the body’s defenses, eventually causing cell death. The brain and lungs are most affected by high levels of oxygen during diving, and this problem may cause convulsion much like an epileptic seizure.
There are also several ear injuries that doctors specializing in dive medicine diagnose and treat. This includes barotrauma, otitis externa (swimmer’s ear) and tympanic membrane rupture, also known as a ruptured ear drum.
Treatment of Diving Disorders
Treatment depends on the condition and the severity. Some problems, including many ear injuries, can heal on their own with time, but others require immediate intervention. Oxygen is typically administered as a medical invention in diving medicine, as well as recompression treatment in a hyperbaric chamber, which is effective in the treatment of many diving conditions.
Dive Medicine and Cosmetic Surgery
Many cosmetic surgeons in popular dive areas also have degrees in dive medicine and serve the diving community. For example, a cosmetic surgeon in Newport Beach may offer procedures like breast augmentation (see here: DrRobKessler.com/Pages.aspx/Breast-Augmentation), yet also specialize in treating common diving injuries like a ruptured ear drum or barotrauma, both of which often require surgical intervention to allow the patient to return to diving.
If you plan to get plastic surgery of any kind, it pays to find a surgeon with dive medicine education who can help you choose a procedure that will not impact your ability to dive in the future, and guide you through the recovery process so you can return to the water as soon as possible.
Rhinoplasty is a term used to refer to cosmetic surgery performed on the nose. There are two primary reasons why someone would opt to have this procedure done.
One is that the person may have suffered some physical trauma that has affected their ability to breathe so they need reconstructive surgery on the nose to enable that important organ function well again. The other reason is that some people may be unhappy about the appearance of their nasal area so they choose to undergo a surgical procedure to improve their physical appearance.
Divers need to keep the following information in mind before they choose to undergo a rhinoplasty.
Only Undergo It If You Must.
Even the most experienced diver will tell you that the likelihood of diving accidents is very real and can happen at any time when you are in the deep.
Because of this fact, it is advisable for divers to only undergo this procedure if they have had a diving accident that makes it necessary for them to have their nose repaired to restore performance.
Do Not Expect A Perfect Nose Job.
Rhinoplasty is one of the most difficult procedures to pull off so when you decide to go under the knife, be realistic in what outcome you expect.
Better function is a realistic goal but perfect physical appearance is harder to achieve. Of course you will look better but do not expect massive transformation of your appearance.
Age Is A Factor.
The older one is, the lower the chance of a successful nose operation. If you are advanced in age, it may be necessary to fully discuss your prospects with your surgeon before you undergo the procedure.
For people that have jobs that are not physically demanding such as office workers, a week off can be more than sufficient before they resume work.
A diver’s job is another thing altogether. You will need to wait for at least a month before you can resume diving since that activity is physically demanding and may cause damage to the surgical area and affect full recovery.
Secondary Rhinoplasty Is Always A Possibility.
It is not unusual for people who have undergone nose surgery to require an additional procedure to repair some mishap that resulted from the primary procedure they underwent.
This second procedure is more difficult to perform and outcomes are usually mixed. You therefore need to be very careful when choosing the surgeon that performs your first procedure so that they get it right the first time.
It is for this reason that divers should be cautious about doing elective rhinoplasty since their occupation has the likelihood of having them requiring reconstructive nose surgery. If one had already had a procedure done, then the mandatory one will find when their nasal tissues have already been under the knife and the job will be more complex to carry out.
A diver needs to think carefully and consult widely before undergoing rhinoplasty. The site http://www.thefaceinstitute.com.au/ as well as http://thefaceinstitute.com.au/surgical-procedures/rhinoplasty can be extremely helpful in giving you all the information you need before you can make a decision on whether you need to undergo nose surgery or not. Remember to do as your doctor says and don’t attempt diving until your doctor gives you the go-ahead!
Divers often face issues related to their sinuses and ears, and ear injury is the most common injury sustained during diving. If you’ve gone through sinus or ear surgery, you’re probably concerned about how it may affect your ability to dive in the future. Here’s what you need to know.
Diving with Existing Ear or Sinus Injuries
A history of allergies, sinusitis or even childhood ear infections can cause damage to the soft tissue lining of your sinuses, especially your Estachian tubes, which connect your middle ear with the throat. A deviated septum may also present a problem because it prevents you from clearing before you dive. If you can’t descend without equalizing pressure in your ears and sinuses, you run serious risks.
If you’ve suffered a recent injury to the sinuses or ears, including recent infections, it’s best to wait to dive until you’re cleared by a doctor. Sometimes these issues sponatenously heal, but sometimes they require surgical repair.
Diving After Tympanoplasty Surgery
Tympanoplasty is a surgical procedure done to reconstruct the ear drum or small bones in your middle ear. This procedure is most common among divers who failed to equalize during descent or ascent and suffered perforations or tears in the ear drum that didn’t heal on their own. There are several types of tympanoplasty, and some may eliminate your ability to ever dive again.
The problem is the surgery does not restore your middle ear and ear drum to its original strength. Your ear will be more delicate than before, and you run the risk of developing problems with your Eustachian tube. In some cases, you may lose your hearing permanently if you keep diving after the surgery heals.
I recommend discussing diving in the future with your doctor. If you can properly clear your sinuses and ears, you may be able to continue diving, although it will be with some risk.
Diving After General External Ear Surgery
Surgery to the middle or inner ear is much more complex, but surgery on the outer ear canal will in no way stop you from diving. In fact, you can start diving again as soon as your skin is fully healed.
Diving After Sinus Surgery
In most cases, you can return to diving following sinus surgery once the surgical site is fully healed and the original issue is gone. If you have any residual sinus disease, you may notice your condition worsens or you suffer complications. Sinus surgery should help by improving ventilation of your sinuses and prevent sinus squeeze during diving, but you’ll want to avoid rapid increases in pressure for at least three weeks.
Diving After Cosmetic Surgery
While corrective surgery to address dive-related problems cause the most worry among divers, occasionally divers worry about hitting the water again following cosmetic surgery. Fortunately, cosmetic surgery to your outer ears or your nose won’t keep you from diving again, but you will need to wait until you’re fully healed.
With a rhinoplasty, you’ll want to wait up to 3 months due to congestion following the procedure as well as the pressure of the face mask on your healing nose and your ability to equalize. In some cases, this wait period may be longer. I know one woman who had a nose job in Sydney and had to wait five months for the congestion to finally clear up before she could head back to Byron Bay.
The wait time after octoplasty, or ear surgery, can be much longer. This procedure has the longest wait time of up to six months, but the good news is you will eventually be back in the water. If you plan to undergo elective surgery, do your best to time it well before the dive season.