Nitrox diving is a type of diving that uses a mix of nitrogen and oxygen in breathing gas. This can provide some advantages over air diving, including longer dive times and less nitrogen loading on the body.
The basic idea behind nitrox diving is to use a gas mix that has a higher percentage of oxygen than the air we breathe at the surface level. By doing this, we can reduce the amount of nitrogen that enters our bodies during a dive. This can help to reduce the risk of decompression sickness (DCS), as well as allow us to stay underwater for longer periods of time.
There are two main types of nitrox diving: Enriched Air Nitrox (EAN) and Oxygen Enriched Air (OEA). EAN uses a gas mix that contains up to 40% oxygen, while OEA can use mixes containing up to 100% oxygen.
The Advantages Of Nitrox Diving
There are several advantages to using nitrox when diving, including:
1) Longer Dive Times – By using a mix with a higher percentage of oxygen, we can stay underwater for longer periods of time before needing to surface. This is because the body absorbs less nitrogen when using nitrox.
2) Reduced Risk Of Decompression Sickness – As the body absorbs less nitrogen, there is a reduced risk of decompression sickness (DCS). This is because DCS is caused by nitrogen bubbles forming in the body.
3) Faster Off-Gassing – When we use nitrox, we off-gas nitrogen at a faster rate than when using air. This means that we can safely ascend to the surface sooner after a dive.
4) Increased Oxygen Levels – The increased oxygen levels in nitrox can help to increase alertness and reduce fatigue. This can be especially beneficial for long dives or multiple dives in a day.
The Disadvantages Of Nitrox Diving
There are also some disadvantages to using nitrox, including:
1) Cost – Nitrox diving usually costs more than air diving, as the gas mix is more expensive to produce.
2) Equipment – Nitrox diving usually requires specialised equipment, such as oxygen sensors and analysers.
3) Training – Nitrox diving also requires specific training in order to safely use the gas mix. This training is usually offered by dive schools or instructors.
To Avoid The Risk with Nitrox Diving
Nitrox diving has become increasingly popular in recent years as it offers many advantages over traditional air diving. However, it is important to note that nitrox diving is not without its risks. It is therefore essential that divers receive proper training before attempting to use nitrox.
There are several steps that drivers can take to minimise the risks associated with nitrox diving. These include:
Receiving proper training: It is essential that divers receive proper training before using nitrox. This training should include information on the risks associated with nitrox diving, as well as how to properly use nitrox diving equipment.
Using proper dive planning: Careful dive planning is essential when using nitrox. Divers should always choose a dive site that is appropriate for their level of experience and training.
monitoring their gas mixture: It is important for divers to monitor the oxygen content of their gas mixture throughout the dive. This can be done using a simple oxygen monitor.
Following proper decompression procedures: When using nitrox, it is essential that divers follow proper decompression procedures. This includes ascending slowly and making safety stops along the way.
With proper training and care, nitrox diving can be safe and enjoyable. However, it is important to remember that nitrox diving is not without its risks. These risks should be carefully considered before undertaking any nitrox dive.
Nitrox Diving and Safe
Nitrox diving is generally safe when used correctly. However, there are some risks associated with using nitrox, such as oxygen toxicity and fires/explosions. These risks can be mitigated by following proper safety procedures and using quality equipment.
Whether or not you should use nitrox diving depends on your diving goals and objectives. If you want to stay underwater for longer periods of time or reduce your risk of DCS, then nitrox diving may be a good option for you. However, if you are only interested in air diving, then there is no need to use nitrox.
Training And Certification
If you are interested in using nitrox diving, then you will need to get training and certification. This training will teach you how to safely use nitrox and use the proper equipment. Most dive schools and instructors offer nitrox training courses. Once you have completed the course, you will usually receive a certification card that shows that you are certified to use nitrox.
Nitrox diving can provide some advantages over air diving, including longer dive times and less nitrogen loading on the body. However, there are also some disadvantages to using nitrox, such as cost and equipment requirements. Nitrox diving is generally safe when used correctly, but there are some risks associated with its use. Whether or not you should use nitrox diving depends on your diving goals and objectives.