COPD: Incompatible With Diving

Reduced exercise tolerance is common for those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and poses risks for diving. There can be strenuous activity involved with managing currents, swimming on the surface in choppy seas or pulling yourself and your heavy gear up a ladder and onto an unsteady boat. With COPD, shortness of breath during exertion doesn’t mean you are out of shape; it means you cannot rid your body of carbon dioxide and replace it with the oxygen needed to meet the demand of your exertion.

COPD in the lungs

Laryngospasm and Anxiety

Q: During dive training in the pool, I couldn’t breathe after clearing my mask with my regulator in my mouth. After surfacing, I took six to eight wheezing breaths and then could breathe normally again. It’s possible I inhaled water during the exercise, but my instructor and I could not recall when or how that would have […]

doctor consulting with patient on his concussion

Diving After Brain Surgery

I RECENTLY UNDERWENT BRAIN SURGERY. The surgery was successful, but now part of my skull has been replaced with mesh. My neurosurgeon is brilliant but does not know how the surgery may affect my diving. Am I still able to dive? Should I limit myself to a certain depth, or should I only snorkel? While […]

Autism and Diving

My son is on the autism spectrum and wants to learn how to scuba dive. Will his autism be a problem? Everyone with autism is unique and must be evaluated independently. There will never be an all-inclusive recommendation. First, all decisions must be made by you, properly trained dive instructors, and the physicians who are […]


Joint Pain and Diving

Your effort to relieve joint pain involves achieving neutral buoyancy, but that requires some physical exertion.  Additionally, nr-axSpa often progresses into ankylosing spondylitis with inflammation where tendons, ligaments, or joint capsules enter the bone, which can lead to spinal fusion and reduced mobility.

having back pain

Bipolar Disorder and Diving

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED about Bipolar Disorder and diving, immersion pulmonary edema, and pain in teeth when diving.

Man having session with psychologist

Low Platelet Count and Diving

Before you dive, you and your doctor should consider some possible effects of having a low platelet count. In some cases, it may affect the body’s ability to clot properly in response to injury.

Hand holding blood sample in vacuum tube for hematological analysis.

Diving After an Eye Stroke

Q: I recently had an eye stroke. Can I still dive after it has been resolved? A: The main concerns with an eye stroke (central retinal artery occlusion, or CRAO) are the underlying cause and the medications your doctor prescribed for treatment. Before returning to diving, work with your ophthalmologist or physician to determine the root cause of the initial ocular stroke, the probability of recurrence, and your overall cardiovascular health.

Right Eye Sequelae of Branch retinal artery occlusion (BRAO) located temporal superior

Breastfeeding and Diving

I am about two and a half months postpartum with no complications and have received clearance from my physician and a dive specialist to resume diving.

mother nursing son