Why Nitrogen can Make you High

Yep - you'll see more than dogs when you're insane.

Yep - you'll see more than dogs when you're insane.

It is understandable that you might become addicted to the beauty that surrounds you down under. But getting insane? Is that even possible?

When you’re starting to feel something funky and suddenly things get a little brighter and you see Bob Dylan playing his Quasimodo song with an acoustic guitar, then there might be a possibility that it’s what scuba divers call nitrogen insanity.

Nitrogen Insanity

The air you breathe from the scuba tank contains approximately 79% nitrogen and 21% oxygen and the pressure of being underwater forces the nitrogen into the body’s fatty tissues.

The longer and deeper you dive, the more nitrogen is forced into your tissues. At around 10 meters, the partial pressure of each gas would have been doubled. So your tissue will absorb twice as much nitrogen as on the surface.

Sucking up too much nitrogen in your body can affect the way you think and feel. Diving too deep and too long can cause this insanity – and no, you’re not an exemption to this. Don’t even try.

Nitrogen insanityDecompression Sickness

In diving, you may be familiar with the term bends or decompression sickness. This occurs when the nitrogen bubbles in the blood lodge in certain parts of your body. This bubble that is caught in a vital organ can be critical for you. Sounds painful doesn’t it? Because it is.

And before much was discovered about decompression sickness, divers got bubbles lodged in their joints, which forces them to bend over in pain. Nasty!

Now, in order to eliminate the pain that you might be feeling, you should plan your diving activity through a dive computer and/or decompression tables. These tools will provide the time and depth for a decompression or safety stop for the particular dive.

A safety stop is a moment while you’re ascending wherein you stop in a certain depth in order for your body to cope and safely release the nitrogen inside your body.

The safety stop is vital if you don’t want unwanted nitrogen in your joints. It can make you feel worse than an old man with arthritis problems.

Decreasing the duration of the dive and increasing the length of the decompression or safety stop can also help you avoid decompression sickness. Remember a great dive is a safe dive. So plan your dive carefully with safety as top priority.

Decompression sickness and nitrogen insanity are serious diving illness. You don’t want to feel funky when you’re diving down deep. So you better make sure that you’ve planned your dive in such a way that nitrogen will help you live and think straight.

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