Nitrogen narcosis can happen to a lot of freedivers during diving deep into the waters. It is often defined as a condition where a person feels similar to being drunk, with very little effe
cts of hallucinations, and numbness. While others may say that the feeling of nitrogen narcosis appears like inhaling nitrous oxide (gas used by dentists or filled inside cans).
Common symptoms of nitrogen narcosis are listed below:
· Memory loss for a shorter period
· Finding it difficult to concentrate
· Poor judgment
· Frequent hallucinations
· Diminished muscle functions
What causes nitrogen narcosis
We must understand that the air we breathe consists mainly of nitrogen, some parts of oxygen, and other gases such as carbon dioxide, argon, etc., whenever you are breathing in the air at the general pressure conditions, you are not only breathing in oxygen but also nitrogen and other gases present in the air.
We must also know that our bodies do not absorb nitrogen into our bloodstream under the normal pressure levels. It only soaks up oxygen, the nitrogen you inhale is thrown out of the system without any hindrance with the brain functioning.
Now, in case of going deeper underwater, when you breathe in the air, the gases along with nitrogen tend to dissolve in the bloodstream. When you go deeper into the waters, more amounts of nitrogen are dissolved in the bloodstream and goes into the brain that causes an imbalance with the brain. This is the phenomenon that causes nitrogen narcosis.
Prevention of Nitrogen narcosis
· Take breaks while freedive
Experts recommend that a freediver should take long intervals of breaks at the surface to prevent nitrogen narcosis, as doing repetitive dives can make you inhale more carbon dioxide in your bodies and it can worsen the situation.
· Keep away from alcohol
It is one of the major factors affecting the health of freedivers, try to avoid having alcohol and any other kinds of drugs that can result in manipulation with the brain can cause severe nitrogen narcosis.
· Avoid being tired during freediving
It is suggested that freedivers must not perform repetitive dives that can make them tired and build up more nitrogen in the tissues. Don't push yourself and keep in your limits.