Diseases & Conditions

With in-depth information about common medical concerns and their significance to divers, Diseases & Conditions entries cover symptoms, prevention, first aid, epidemiology, anatomy and more. Implications for diving are included for the diver, the dive operator and the physician.

If you cannot find an answer to your question or want to learn more, call us on the DAN Medical Information Line at +1 (919) 684-2948.

View and search all of DAN’s Diseases & Conditions posts here.

Asthma and Diving

More than 25 million Americans — including some divers — have asthma. If the disease is well managed and the individual has good lung function and exercise tolerance, a doctor trained in dive medicine may approve of diving.

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Diabetes and Diving

A DAN study on diabetes and diving monitored plasma glucose levels in divers with and without diabetes. The findings of this study offer insights into the effects of diving on blood glucose and considerations for divers with diabetes.

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Decompression Illness

Decompression illness (DCI) encompasses two conditions: decompression sickness (DCS) and arterial gas embolism (AGE). Symptoms of DCI include numbness and tingling, pain in the joints or muscles, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath and more.

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Flying After Diving

Flying after diving can increase the risk of decompression sickness (DCS) because of the relative decrease in ambient pressure with altitude. Here’s how to lower your likelihood of DCS and ensure your safety during your next flight.

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Hypertension is a common medical condition in both the general population and among divers. Hypertension affects people differently, and not everyone knows they have it. Certain medications may have implications for diving.

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High-Pressure Ophthalmology

Diving exposes the eyes to increased pressure. While most of the time this has little or no negative effects on the diver, problems are possible. Learn more about how cataract surgery, glaucoma and other eye-related concerns may affect diving.

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Middle-Ear Barotrauma (MEBT)

Middle-ear barotrauma (MEBT) is common in diving, but with proper precautions it can be avoided. Learn the symptoms, prevention strategies and proper first aid techniques for this troublesome underwater ailment.

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Juggling Physical Exercise and Diving

Performing regular physical exercise will benefit diving with a boost in physical strength and stamina. But, timing is key. Learn the recommendations for physical exercise.

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Swimmer’s Ear (Otitis Externa)

Swimmer’s ear is a common condition, typically caused by prolonged exposure to wet conditions. The natural environment within the ear is changed and enables bacteria to grow.

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Cardiovascular Fitness and Diving

Cardiovascular fitness is of utmost importance to your safety while scuba diving as well as to your ability to exercise generally and your life span.

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Women’s Health and Diving

Women face unique needs in terms of overall health — including certain cancers or complications from procedures. Learn about common health conditions women face and how the conditions could impact diving.

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Alternobaric Vertigo

Alternobaric vertigo happens when there is unequal pressure in each ear. Prevention and management while diving will help keep you safe.

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