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Pressure headache and prolonged narcosis (2)

Discussion in 'Diving Medicine' started by Juris Diver, May 26, 2002.

  1. Uncle Pug

    Uncle Pug Swims with Orca ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Shoot Paul... no need to be cranky...
    Oh, wait... my wrong...
    I just remembered your sig line...
    :wink:

    btw... thanks for the didactic and the links to the threads...
    yer a peach!
     
  2. Juris Diver

    Juris Diver Angel Fish

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    Phew! Ok, so you guys think I just didn't breathe deeply or slowly enough and as a result had too much carbon dioxide buildup; hence the headache and prolonged "kooky" feeling. Easy to fix. :D

    Thanks for all your help and the useful information. As I said, perhaps in the future I'll understand (most of) it. :) I'm looking forward to going "deep" again to test your predictions!
     
  3. Uncle Pug

    Uncle Pug Swims with Orca ScubaBoard Supporter

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    Just take it easy, have fun and don't dive any deeper than you need too for the dive's objective.
     
  4. jar

    jar Garibaldi

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    Hi gang--real interesting discussion on all the theoretical possibilities of conflicting gas retention (BillP and DocV at a party-sheesh)

    A couple of hypotheses:

    Hyperventilation leading to CO2 retention seems likely.

    Mask strap tightness probably not an issue--with the mask flooding and adjustments, the tightness of the strap probably didn't make a difference. Also, one might assume that the mask has been this tight before, without impact.

    Final observation--check your mouthpiece. I'll bet you've got some great teeth marks in it. Under stress and anxiety, we sometimes have a tendency to clamp down and hold (don't wanna lose that mouthpiece!) This will cause a headache faster than anything else mentioned.

    As you get more comfortable in the water, on a shallow dive, try completely relaxing your bite and let your closed mouth hold the reg in (it will). You won't believe the tension and anxiety that will go away.

    Prolonged "kooky" feeling--your narcosis was gone probably by the time you cleared 50 feet. However, your statement of "feeling" the pressure leads me to believe that, with your mask problems and anxiety, you may not have cleared your ears often enough to keep the inner workings stress free (how's that for non-medical terms). If you let the pressure build too long, it can have post dive effects ranging from sore ears to tinnitus to dizziness and vomiting (although the latter probably indicates damage). Since it's cleared, I'm going to chalk it up to some hard clearing activity during the dive.

    Equalize early and often; breath deeply and slowly, and relax your bite. Everything else will workout.

    Disclaimer: This information is worth what you paid for it. It is opinion and personal belief. It's based on what you think happened to you so if anything is wrong, it's your fault. "Use or Don't Use--there is no 'Reliance", (Yoda, the untold story).

    Cheers.

    JR.

    (Hi Bill and Doc-long time no chat)
     
  5. DocVikingo

    DocVikingo Senior Member

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    Hi JR,

    Good to see you back on the boards. Don't be a stranger here
    or elsewhere.

    BillP & I appreciate all the help we can get. You young lions can keep me from giving grossly outdated facts & opinions.

    I'll be up on the Cape for some CMEs & a dive or two in July. In the meantime, eat some of that toothsome New England seafood for me.

    Best regards.

    DocVikingo
     
  6. The Iceni

    The Iceni Medical Moderator

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    Today's deliberate mistake?

    (I know that you know that I know what you meant!)

    For info, I mentioned hyperventilation earlier. Most family doctors and casualty officers (ER doctors) are familiar with this. Typically a teenage girl is anxious and upset about something and starts to breath rapidly - she hyperventilates. This blows off CO2 causing what is known as a metabolic alkalosis - too little CO2 is almost as bad as too much:-

    The reduced acidity in the blood causes and number of symptoms due an alteration in the behaviour of calcium. Some of these are feelings of light headedness, pins and needles in the hands (paraesthesia), muscle twitching and facial spasms. These symptoms convince the patient she is very ill and she becomes even more anxious and hyperventilates even more! Eventually hyperventilation can cause loss of conciousness.

    The treatment?

    Make the victim rebreath from a carrier bag for five minutes.

    As I said early, even with modern regulators I very much doubt this is a common problem in divers underwater but it is theoretically quite possible.
     
  7. Juris Diver

    Juris Diver Angel Fish

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    Hi Jar and thanks for your comments/observations.

    I have no bite marks on mouthpiece. I probably got a headache because I may have tightened my mask too tight while adjusting on the dive down in an effort to keep it from leaking (I am prone to getting headaches if I wear a baseball cap too long or one that is too tight, etc.). I tried just creating a vacuum by pressing the mask against my face, however, that didn't work; hence, I tightened the straps (maybe too much hehe). That in combination with feeling the increased pressure seems to have caused the headache (I think).

    The "kooky" feeling I described was like I was drugged (unintentionally :wink: ). I had no problems clearing my ears (and I did that early and often as you suggest). From what has been posted so far, I assume that feeling was caused by CO2 buildup.

    I'll be diving this weekend (Santa Cruz and Anacapa Islands). If I/we decide to go to 100' again, I'll file a report. :D If you never hear from me again, maybe I got eaten by a Great White shark (it is the "Red Triangle" ya know). Crosses fingers.

    Thanks again.
     
  8. Juris Diver

    Juris Diver Angel Fish

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    Sheesh Doc, what gave you the impression that I'm a teenage girl?

    :jester:

    Dan
     
  9. jar

    jar Garibaldi

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    My apologies--between not having a lot of rest and trying to get this new (for me) board to work, I blathered. The "cranky" doc is right-hyperventilation blows off CO2.

    I had an airman seize up on the flight line and lock up rigid. A little breathing into the bag, and she was fine.

    Doc--sorry-no Cape Cod. Have much spiny lobster, tako and Lomi-Lomi avail on Oah'u. Very annoying that the abalone season in Calif is on, and I'm here (I can hear the collective moan).

    Juris--is there a difference between being unintentionally drugged and being intentionally drugged? What is the source of your information? <grin>

    Later.

    JR
     
  10. Juris Diver

    Juris Diver Angel Fish

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    Jar, as OJ said, "I plead tha 5th!" And because I've never been drugged UNintentionally, I wouldn't know the difference. :tease:

    Hasta.
     

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