Nitrogen Narcosis: Definition, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

What is nitrogen narcosis ? Nitrogen narcosis is a condition that affects deep-sea divers. It goes by many other names, including :

  • narks
  • rapture of the deep
  • the martini effect
  • inert gas narcosis

deep-sea divers use oxygen tanks to help them breath submerged. These tanks normally contain a mix of oxygen, nitrogen, and early gasses. Once divers swim deeper than about 100 feet, the increased pressure can alter these gasses. When inhale, the change gasses can produce strange symptoms that frequently make a person appear to be drink.

While nitrogen narcosis is a impermanent condition, it can have serious health consequences. Read on to learn more about the symptoms of nitrogen narcosis and what to do if you or person else experiences them.

What are the symptoms of nitrogen narcosis?

Most divers describe nitrogen narcosis as feeling like they ’ rhenium uncomfortably drunk or dazed. People with nitrogen narcosis much appear that way to others excessively. Common symptoms of nitrogen narcosis include :

  • poor judgement
  • short-term memory loss
  • trouble concentrating
  • a sense of euphoria
  • disorientation
  • reduced nerve and muscle function
  • hyperfocusing on a specific area
  • hallucinations

More hard cases can besides cause person to go into a coma or flush die. Nitrogen narcosis symptoms tend to start once a diver reaches a depth of about 100 feet. They don ’ triiodothyronine get worse unless that loon swims deeper. Symptoms start to become more serious at a astuteness of about 300 feet. once a loon returns to the urine ’ s surface, the symptoms normally go aside within a few minutes. however, some of the symptoms, like disorientation and poor people sagacity, campaign divers to swim deeper. This can lead to more good symptoms.

What causes nitrogen narcosis?

Experts aren ’ thyroxine surely about the exact induce of nitrogen narcosis. When you inhale compressed air from an oxygen tank while under a set of pressure from water, it increases the pressure of oxygen and nitrogen in your lineage. This increased pressure affects your cardinal anxious organization. But no one ’ s sure about the specific mechanisms that cause this to happen.

Are some people more prone to nitrogen narcosis?

Nitrogen narcosis can affect any deep-sea diver, and most experience some of its symptoms at some point. however, you have a higher risk of developing nitrogen narcosis if you :

  • drink alcohol before diving
  • have anxiety
  • are fatigued
  • develop hypothermia before or during your dive

If you ’ re planning a deep-sea honkytonk, make certain you ’ rhenium well-rested, relax, and by rights dressed before attempting any dive. Avoid drinking alcohol advance besides .

How is nitrogen narcosis diagnosed?

Nitrogen narcosis normally happens in the middle of a deep-sea dive, so it ’ s rarely diagnosed by a repair. alternatively, you or your dive partner will probable notice the symptoms first. Make sure that those around you during your prima donna are aware of the discipline and how to recognize its symptoms, in both themselves and others. once you reach a gravy boat or land, seek hand brake discussion if your symptoms aren ’ thyroxine going away after a few minutes .

How is nitrogen narcosis treated?

The main treatment for nitrogen narcosis is simply getting yourself to the water ’ s come on. If your symptoms are mild, you can stay in shallower waters with your dive collaborator or team while you wait for them to clear. once your symptoms have cleared, you can resume your prima donna at that shallower astuteness. Just make surely you don ’ t render to the depth where you started having symptoms. If your symptoms don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate purpose once you reach shallower water, you ’ ll want to end your dive and headway to the surface. For future dives, you may need a different mix of gases in your oxygen tank. For exemplar, diluting oxygen with hydrogen or helium rather of nitrogen may help. But this can besides increase your hazard of developing other diving-related conditions, such as decompression sickness. work with your doctor of the church and an feel dive teacher to find some other options to try for your following dive.

Does it cause any complications?

Nitrogen narcosis is reasonably coarse and temp, but that doesn ’ thymine bastardly it can ’ t have permanent effects. Some divers who develop nitrogen narcosis become excessively disorient to swim to shallower urine. In other cases, a loon can slip into a coma while hush deep subaqueous. Trying to get yourself back to the open can besides lead to complications. If you rise excessively cursorily, you could develop decompression nausea, much called the bends. This results from a rapid decrease in blackmail. Decompression illness can cause serious symptoms, including lineage clots and weave injuries. seek emergency treatment if you experience the watch symptoms after coming back to the water ’ s surface :

  • fatigue
  • appetite loss
  • headache
  • general malaise
  • tendon, joint, or muscle pain
  • swelling
  • dizziness
  • pain in the chest
  • trouble breathing
  • double vision
  • speaking difficulties
  • muscle weakness, primarily on one side of your body
  • flu-like symptoms

You can besides reduce your hazard of developing decompression sickness by :

  • slowly approaching the surface
  • diving on a good night’s sleep
  • drinking plenty of water beforehand
  • avoiding air travel shortly after diving
  • spacing out your dives, ideally by at least a day
  • not spending too much time in high-pressure depths
  • wearing a proper wetsuit in cold water

You should besides be extra mindful of reducing your risk of decompression illness if you :

  • have a heart condition
  • are overweight
  • are older

Make sure that you and everyone you ’ ra diving with knows how to recognize signs of decompression illness and how to reduce their gamble of developing it.

What’s the outlook?

In most cases, nitrogen narcosis clears up once you reach shallower water. But symptoms like confusion and poor opinion can make this hard to do. With a little preplanning and awareness, you can continue diving safely and reduce your hazard of nitrogen narcosis and its likely complications .

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