The number of practicing diving recreationists is constantly growing every year. One of the factors behind this boom is the consolidation of diving tourism and the development of technology, especially related to the field of safety in its practical application.
But before diving, “it is advisable to conduct a survey to identify health problems that may affect diving practice. Although it is an activity that does not require any outstanding athletic performance, it is practiced in a natural hostile environment for humans and therefore requires appropriate health conditions, ”says Ana Palau, specialist in underwater and hyperbaric medicine.
What tests does the recognition consist of?
The function of a special medical examination is to confirm good health and to exclude those processes that are completely or temporarily contrary to the practice of diving, or that require some information or medical advice.
“To this end, in addition to the history and physical examination, some tests, such as an electrocardiogram (ECG) and a functional respiratory test (PAFR), are necessary to help assess health status and that they rule out diseases that do not have symptoms and that may pose a risk to diving, ”says the expert.
Do divers require a medical certificate in all countries?
“This is of interest in the case of diving tourism. In almost all countries, a health check is carried out before diving with the submission of an official medical certificate or, less often, filling out a health questionnaire, ”recalls an underwater and hyperbaric medicine specialist.
Both at the diving center level and through the Ministry of Public Works, there is a clear interest in enhancing safety and control in these activities through medical clearance regulations and technological advances that have had a positive impact on diving safety.
Medical examinations are required by law to gain access to any degree or certificate and will need to be repeated every two years.
Diseases and clinical situations that interfere with diving
According to Palau, “spontaneous pneumothorax, cysts and lung bullae, epilepsy and pathologies that can cause loss of consciousness are contraindications that prevent immersion in water. all things. Others may be contraindications under certain circumstances that require individual assessment in each case. Temporary contraindications (such as otitis media, sinus infections, eardrum perforation, or recent interventions) include delayed dive plans until they are resolved. »
The impact it can have on the fetus is not well known, so for safety reasons it is best not to dive during pregnancy.
Regarding the health risks associated with diving, an expert in this activity points out that accidents can be tolerated, sometimes serious. “From different types of barotrauma to decompression situations or chemical accidents.
Tips if you are going to start a dive
Palau provides the following general guidelines for a person who already has a medical certificate and is about to start diving:
- Practice diving wisely.
- Be aware of any problems you may encounter while diving.
- Have accident insurance that can cover any type of incident.
- Check your equipment before every dive.
- Protect the environment by taking care not to harm fauna or vegetation.
- Prepare to enjoy an experience you can never do without.