DIVING AND HEALTH
PADI 5-STAR CDC CENTER
Good health is necessary to practice safe diving. An annual medical check-up by a doctor is highly recommended. Don't dive if you are experiencing some medical conditions such as colds, flu or fever.
If you are pregnant or you believe you might be don't dive until you get clearance by a physician.
Pre-Dive Physical Examination
The evaluation is simply an assessment of compatibility for scuba with various medical conditions. If you have questions about your fitness for diving, or if you need evaluation by a diving doctor, DAN (Divers Alert Network) can provide you with a list of specialists in your area.
Simply call the DAN Dive Safety and Medical Information Line at (919) 684-2948 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time.
You should definitely have your health checked by a professional if you have a medical history of any of the following conditions.
- a history of heart or lung disease
- an unexplained loss of consciousness or "blackout"
- a history of nausea or vomiting
- the use of prescription or non-prescription medications
- shortness of breath
- repeated trouble clearing air spaces
- the appearance of not being physically fit
No age limit for participation in scuba diving exists, provided a diver is healthy and fit and has no disqualifying medical conditions. Some divers may be asked by their physician to perform an exercise tolerance test to rule out any cardiovascular (heart) problems - this is appropriate when the diver is older or appears generally out of shape. This test allows a physician to collect information about how well an individual responds to exercise.
Can be the cause of many problems to your health. It is suspected that dehydration is the main reason that divers suffer from decompression sickness.
If you fly to Phuket and you plan is to participate directly in any dive activity make sure to drink enough liquid during a long flight. The dry cabin air of a commercial airliner will dehydrate severely during a very long flight.
Stay well hydrated during your time diving with us at the Similan and Surin Island Marine Parks. Drink plenty of water as it is available all throughout the day and reduce the amount of alcoholic beverages you consume to a minimum.
If you don´t feel well stay out of the water and let your dive guide know about it.
The signs and symptoms of dehydration can range from minor to severe and include:
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth and swollen tongue
- Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
- Inability to sweat
- Decreased urine output
Urine color can also indicate dehydration. If urine is deep yellow or amber you should drink much more liquid.
DIVING ON MEDICATIONS
Most medications will have no effect on diving, but some may cause drowsiness or fatigue, which may increase the susceptibility to nitrogen narcosis.
Read the warning labels and precautions before using prescription or overthe-counter drugs.
The likelihood of an unexpected reaction to medications at depth varies from diver to diver, and even from day to day. If you start a new medication, be sure there are no side effects at the surface before entering the water.
ASTHMA or DIABETES
Some individuals with a history of asthma or diabetes are permitted to dive by their physicians - after a careful evaluation. Diabetes and many other medical conditions must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis with an appropriate medical specialist.
To avoid decompression sickness, just follow these simple rules:
Drink enough water or other non-alcoholic beverage
Don't dive if you not feel well
Stay well withoun your no decompression limits
Slow ascend rate from every dive
Do a safety stop for at least 3 minutes at 5 meters before ascending
Don't take part in any exercise and exertion after a dive
Wait 24 hours or more before you enter a commercial airliner or travel to high alittudes.
Do not ignore any symptoms after diving, If you don't feel well let your dive guide know and DON'T participate on further dives.
If you have experienced an uncontrolled ascent our Cruise Director might ban you to participate on the following dives of the day for your own safety. There will be no reimbursement for missed dives due the luck of control during an ascent. If you believe your buoyancy is not perfect please talk to your friendly dive staff and enrol in a Scuba Review (before cruise departure) or the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Speciality.
Symptoms of DCS
Pain in joints and / or muscles of the arms, legs or torso
Dizziness, vertigo, ringing in the ears
Numbness, tingling and paralysis
Shortness of breath
Skin may show a blotchy rash
Paralysis, muscle weakness
Confusion, personality changes, bizarre behavior
Coughing up bloody, frothy sputum
Collapse or unconsciousness
Most common signals of DCS are joint pain and numbness or tingling. Symptoms and signs usually appear within 15 minutes to 12 hours after surfacing.
All Khao Lak Scuba Adventures vessels are equiped with emergency Oxygen. Our dive staff have been trained for the use and distribution of clinical emergency Oxygen, the first aid on a suspected DCS, and Medical First Aid / CPR.
If you are travelling without any insurance, covering treatmens in a Hyperbaric chamber, we strongly recommend to purchase a dive insurance for as low as 200 THB per day before leaving on any dive excursion.
We also recommend to dive on Nitrox (Enriched Air) since the amount of Nitrogen (the gas causing DCS) is much lower than on normal air dives. If you are not a Nitrox Diver yet, ask our friendly dive staff how to enrol in the PADI Enriched Air Diver Speciality.
ENJOY SCUBA DIVING
Scuba diving is an activity that anyone with good health and fitness can enjoy for a lifetime. To get the most out of your lifetime of diving, practice disease and injury prevention and participate in a health maintenance program.
- See your physician for regular checkups in addition to when you're ill
- Participate in a regular exercise program
- Be rested and well-nourished before diving
- Use proper exposure protection and equipment
- Plan your dive to avoid overexertion.
Your safety and enjoyment is our main concern during your trip on any of our Khao Lak Scuba Adventures liveaboards. Don't hide or downplay any medical condition or health problem. It's better to have an open and frank discussion before a problem arises than to wonder if the injury could have been avoided. Finally, if you have questions on your own diving fitness, queries about certain medical conditions when diving, how to find a diving doctor in your area, or if your physician has any questions, call DAN's Dive Safety and Medical Information Line at (919) 684-2948 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET or visit the Divers Alarm Network websites: