Nitrox diving is a popular diving technique that involves breathing a gas mixture of nitrogen and oxygen, with a higher percentage of oxygen than normal air. This technique is known to offer several benefits to divers, such as longer bottom times, reduced decompression times, and decreased risk of decompression sickness.
If you are interested in exploring the world of nitrox diving, here are some things you should know:
What is Nitrox Diving?
Nitrox diving is a diving technique that involves using a gas mixture with a higher percentage of oxygen than normal air. The typical nitrox blend has an oxygen percentage of 32% or 36%, compared to the 21% oxygen in regular air. This higher oxygen content reduces the amount of nitrogen in the gas mixture, which in turn reduces the risk of decompression sickness.
Benefits of Nitrox Diving
One of the most significant benefits of nitrox diving is longer bottom times. Since the nitrogen content is lower in nitrox, divers can stay at depth for a longer time than with regular air. This is because nitrogen builds up in a diver’s body tissues when they breathe regular air, and the longer they stay at depth, the more nitrogen accumulates. Nitrox also reduces the risk of decompression sickness, a condition that occurs when a diver ascends too quickly and nitrogen bubbles form in their body tissues.
Risks of Nitrox Diving
While nitrox diving has several benefits, it also comes with its risks. Divers must take a nitrox certification course before using nitrox, as using it improperly can lead to oxygen toxicity, a condition that occurs when the oxygen concentration in the breathing gas exceeds safe limits.
To get certified for nitrox diving, you must take a course that covers the use of nitrox for recreational diving. The course covers topics such as the benefits and risks of using nitrox, how to plan and execute nitrox dives, and how to analyze nitrox mixtures. The course usually takes a day or two to complete, and after completion, you will receive a nitrox certification card that allows you to dive with nitrox.
Nitrox Diving Equipment
To dive with nitrox, you need specialized equipment, including a nitrox-compatible dive computer and a nitrox tank. Nitrox tanks are similar to regular scuba tanks but have different colored labels to indicate the nitrox mixture’s oxygen content. You also need to analyze your nitrox mixture before each dive to ensure it has the correct oxygen content.
In conclusion, nitrox diving is an exciting technique that offers several benefits to divers. However, it is important to get certified and use the proper equipment to dive safely with nitrox. If you are interested in exploring the world of nitrox diving, consider taking a nitrox certification course and diving with a reputable dive operator.