Divers Alert Network

The Divers Alert Network (DAN) is a non-profit organization devoted to assisting divers in need. It is supported by donations, grants, and membership dues. Its research department conducts medical research on recreational scuba diving safety while its medicine department helps divers to find answers to their diving medical questions.

 

All Rights for the information on this page are Reserved to Divers Alert Network (DAN) and are linked to DAN's website.

Below you'll find a compilation of questions and answers about different medical conditions and how they could be impacted by diving. Use this page ONLY as a source of information. If you have any concern regarding diving and a medical condition, you should consult your doctor before engaging in any scuba diving related activity. 

 

We don't go diving ANYWHERE without DAN diver insurance in our wallet

 

Diving Medical Frequently Asked Questions

 

Aging:

  • Diving After Joint Replacement

  • The Aging Divers 

 

Barotrauma:

  • Ear Squeeze (Ear Pain) Dealing with Middle Ear Barotrauma

  • Mask Squeeze Not just a dilemma for new divers, DAN takes an in-depth, in-your-face look at it

  • Mechanism of Injury for Pulmonary Over-Inflation Syndrome

  • Nosebleeds (Sinus Squeeze) DAN explains why new divers frequently get nosebleeds

 

Cardiovascular (Heart):

  • ACE Inhibitors (Angiotension-converting enzyme) Cardiovascular Medications

  • Atrial Septal Defects (ASD)

  • Beta-Blockers (Metoprolol, Propanolol etc.) Cardiovascular Medications

  • Blood Thinners (Anticoagulants-Coumadin, Plavix etc.) Cardiovascular Medications

  • Calcium Channel Blockers (Cardizem, Caduet etc.) Cardiovascular Medications

  • Cholesterol Medications & Diving Discussing the effects of cholesterol-lowering medications on diving.

  • Coronary Artery Bypass Graft ( Angioplasty, Stents)

  • Coronary Artery Disease

  • Diuretics (water pills- HCTZ, Aldactone, Bumex) Cardiovascular Medications

  • Diving After a Heart Attack DAN discusses fitness and diving after a heart attack.

  • Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)

  • Heart Valve Replacement

  • Hypertension

  • Implanted Internal Defibrillators Cardiovascular fitness and diving

  • Irregular Heartbeat (Dysrhythmias)

  • Mitral Valve Prolapse

  • Murmurs Looking at unusual heart rhythms

  • Pacemakers and Diving DAN Offers Some Sage Advice on Mixing the Two, By CDR Jim Caruso, M.C., U.S. Navy Diving Medical Officer

  • Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia (PSVT)

  • Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO)

  • Raynaud's Syndrome or Phenomenon

  • Vasovagal and Carotid Sinus Syncopes DAN explains these fainting episodes.

  • Ventricular Septal Defects (VSD) and Diving

 

Decompression Illness:

  • Breath-hold diving and SCUBA

  • Decompression Recovery

  • Diving After Flying

  • Diving at Altitude Living at a subsea level and diving above sea level

  • Flying After Diving DAN reviews its guidelines on how soon divers may fly after diving.

  • Hot Tubs after diving

  • In-Water Recompression

  • Inter-Island Flights

  • Massage & Diving

  • Return to Diving After DCI

  • Subcutaneous Emphysema

  • Divers Alert Network By Dr. Neal Pollock Ph.D.

 

Dental:

  • Dental Implants How long before I can dive after dental implants?

  • Diving and Root Canals Getting to the root of a dental problem by Linda Bascom, DDS and John Monk, MS

  • Diving and Wisdom Teeth DAN Sinks Its Teeth Into Dental Issues and Diving

  • Diving with a cracked tooth Dealing with a cracked tooth

  • Diving with a cracked tooth Dealing with a cracked tooth

  • Diving With Dental Braces

Diabetes & Diving:

  • Diabetes — The Risks

 

Diving Accidents:

  • Basic Instincts DAN explores a hypothetical underwater emergency.

  • Chamber Location and Availability DAN responds to concerns regarding this complex issue.

  • Local Chamber Fees - Do They Really Exist?

  • Oxygen to divers without symptoms

  • Proper Position for Emergency Care

  • Ventilations with purge valve

  • Why DAN Does not Provide Chamber Location Information

 

Ear, Nose & Throat:

  • Cochlear Implants

  • Dealing With Ear Problems

  • Deviated Septum

  • Diving With Existing Ear Injuries

  • Ear Equalizing

  • Ear Plugs

  • Ear Ventilation Tubes

  • ENT Surgery

  • Hearing Loss/Deafness

  • Instructions for Equalizing Ears and Sinuses

  • Meniere's Disease

  • Sinus Congestion

  • Surfers Ear (Exotoses)

  • Tinnitus (Ringing)

  • TMJ (Temporal-Mandibular Joint Syndrome)

  • Tympanic Membrane Rupture (Perforated Ear Drum)

  • Unplugged: DAN Examines the Use of Earplugs In Scuba Divers

By Wesley Hyatt, DAN Communications, and Joel Dovenbarger, Vice President of DAN Medical Services

 

Endocrine:

  • Diving With Hyperglycemia The importance of re-evaluating your fitness to dive.

  • Thyroid Conditions

 

Fitness to Dive:

  • Asthma and Scuba Diving

  • Bone Considerations in Young Divers

  • Cytotoxic Drugs, Cancer Effects

  • Getting Fit for Dive Season DAN Examines the Components of A Good Dive Physical With An Emphasis on Cardiovascular Health

  • Healthy, But Overweight DAN Discusses the Issue of Fitness and Diving By Joel Dovenbarger, Vice President, DAN Medical Services

  • Taking Medication While Scuba Diving

 

Gastrointestinal:

  • Abdominal Surgery

  • Achalasia

  • Bariatric Surgery and Diving

  • Chronic Pancreatitis

  • Crohns Disease and Diving

  • Dumping Syndrome

  • Esophageal Diverticulae

  • Gastroenteritis and Vomiting / Diarrhea

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux (“Heartburn” or “Waterbrash”)

  • Hernias (also Sliding and Paraesophageal Hiatal Hernias)

  • Ileostomy and Colostomy

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • Inguinal Hernia

  • Liver Cirrhosis

  • Liver Transplant DAN examines diving possibilities for donor & recipient.

  • Peptic Ulceration

  • Small Bowel Obstruction

General:

  • Aches and Pains

  • Bladder Discomfort

  • Diving After Donating Blood

  • Flu-like Symptoms Following a Dive

  • Foot Pain After DivingFin Foot

  • Frontal Headaches

  • Hand & Foot Edema

  • Immersion Diuresis (Urge to Urinate) This underwater phenomenon can strike you even if you do not have a weak bladder .

  • Latex Allergies

  • Malaria Medicines & Diving

  • Medical Questionnaire / Statement Can the truth hurt? Is it dangerous to be totally honest on the Dive Medical Questionnaire?

  • Oxygenated water

  • Proper Position for Emergency Care

  • Remember to Breathe DAN explains why scuba divers should always remember to breathe normally while underwater.

 

Hematology (Blood):

  • Diving and Sickle Cell Anemia

  • Diving with Leukemia

  • Hemophilia & Diving The risks of diving with hemophilia.

  • Hepatitis

  • Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia Osler-Weber-Rendu Syndrome

  • Polycythemia vera

  • Sickle Cell Anemia

 

Infectious Diseases:

  • Clean & Sanitize Gear

  • HIV/AIDS and Diving

Marine Life:

  • Bright Colors & Predator Provocation Territorial intrusion and tethered fish may attract a shark, but can bright colors get their toothy attention?

  • Ciguatera Poisoning

  • Coral Cuts, Scrapes and Rashes

  • Coral Scrapes

  • Diving While On Medications for Stings

  • Itching and rash go away and come back

  • Jellyfish Stings Identifying and Treating Jellyfish Stings

  • Lionfish, Scorpionfish and Stonefish Envenomations

  • Mooring/Anchor lines causing itching and rash

  • Sea Bathers Eruption (aka: sea lice, ocean itch)

  • Sea Urchin Spine Punctures

  • Seaweed Dermatitis

  • Stingray Envenomation

  • Swimmer Itch

  • Will Sponges ever Hurt Me

 

Musculoskeletal:

  • Diving After Bone Fractures By James Chimiak, M.D.

  • Diving After Joint Replacement

  • Diving After Spinal Back Surgery

  • Diving with Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Osteochondritis DAN responds to concerns relating to this inflammation of bony tissue.

  • Shoulder Pain

 

Neurological:

  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

  • Cerebral Palsy

  • Cerebral Vascular Accident

  • Epilepsy

  • Head Trauma

  • History of Seizures Without a Clear Diagnosis of Epilepsy

  • Migraine Headache

  • Migraines (and Medical Forms) DAN discusses how migraine headaches can affect diving.

  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

  • Paraplegia

  • Post Brain Tumor Surgery

 

Ophthalmology (Eyes):

  • Blurred Vision

  • Detached Retina and Diving DAN discusses eye surgery for divers.

  • Diving After Lasik Surgery

  • Diving with Contacts

  • Diving with Glaucoma

  • Eye Conditions That Will Keep You Out of the Water

  • Lens Implants and Diving

  • Loss of Sight After HBO Treatment

  • Macular Degeneration DAN discusses diving with this leading cause of blindness.

  • Ocular Decompression Sickness

  • Photorefractive Keratectomy

  • Radial Keratotomy

  • Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

 

Plastic Surgery:

  • Botox Injections

  • Breast Implants

  • Face Lift

  • Liposuction

  • Rhinoplasty

 

Psychological:

  • Diving and Depression Medications

 

Respiratory:

  • Breathing Discomfort

  • Immersion Pulmonary Edema

  • Mechanism of Injury for Pulmonary Over-Inflation Syndrome

  • Pneumothorax & Its Consequences

  • Remember to Breathe DAN explains why scuba divers should always remember to breathe normally while underwater.

  • Spontaneous Pneumothorax

 

Women in Diving:

  • Breast Cancer & Fitness to Dive Issues DAN looks at treatments and discusses breast implants.

  • Breast Cancer, Cancer & Surgery

  • Breast Implants

  • Breast-Feeding

  • Diving and conception

  • Endometriosis

  • Hysterectomy

  • Menstruation During Diving Activities

  • Oral Birth Control

  • Osteoporosis

  • Ovarian Cancer

  • Pregnancy

  • Premenstrual Syndrome

  • Return To Diving After Giving Birth