View Full Version : co2 vs. narcosis?
02-15-2003, 05:46 AM
after surfing the web for quite a while I havent seen a web site that even comes close to this one, great job guys!Its all about camaderie,respect,knowledge and passion for the sport,now lets discuse my predicament.while diving in a wreck of the keys not long ago my buddy got swept away by the riping current ,I did have to put my legs to work to get her back onto the wreck.Almost inmediately after reaching the wreck my head started spinning like a mother at the point I though was going to pass out,after chilling for a while it did go away.I was diving eanx 32% @ 110 ft.Considering that I am interested in taking advanced nitrox and deco this spring this concerns me some,could it be co2 build up or exacerbated narcosis(happened once before while droping fast at 80 ft)?my breathing was deep and focused.I dont think will be fun experiencing a deep water blackout,your experience and imput will be appreciated.:confused:
02-15-2003, 06:28 AM
Diving the Duane?
02-15-2003, 07:08 AM
A regular buddy of mine used to get headaches at least every once in a while until he bought a high performance reg, never had one since.
02-15-2003, 01:02 PM
I was diving at that time the eagle,it was full moon and the current was riping,in respect of the regulator I was using an oceanic delta 3 adustable with plenty of flow,love this reg.,has never let me down(so far).
02-15-2003, 01:18 PM
Seahunt, welcome the the board.
Take the class. I just finished my Tek Nitrox class in December with Dive4Blood and Financial Advisor. I'm looking forward to using the knowledge on some nice wrecks this spring.
Be sure to join us at the NPR Hooters gathering.
Sorry, No lenghty reply here, Beers await'n!
02-15-2003, 01:55 PM
Is it possible that while you were chaseing your buddy down , that you exhurted yourself to the point of hyperventalation? or maybe stopped breatheing temporarily/held your breath? It kinda sounds like your body was deprived of o2. I have had some wicked headaches from skip breatheing but didnt feel them till I hit the surface.
BTW welcome to spearboard :)
02-15-2003, 10:46 PM
No offence to anyone but the better shape you're in the less CO2 build-up and fewer headaches.Surface O2 helps .My chubby ,smoker ,non exercising buddies get'em in current every time.Doesn't matter what mix they use.I get'em coupla times a year in cases like you describe .....helping tow somebody or moving a anchor.
02-16-2003, 12:03 AM
Every once in awhile, I will get massive headaches.....usually when I end up tangling with some fish, or get overexerted and overbreath my reg. Its the same as "skipbreathing" even though you are breathing steadily.....
02-16-2003, 06:52 AM
what i felt actually wasn't a headache,was extreme dizziness that cleared few minutes after siting still. Could the situation be worst if rather than 110ft was 150ft?I believe this is the desired operational deph for the tec. nitrox course.
02-16-2003, 07:12 AM
Did you have shortness of breath with your headaches and dizzyness?
02-16-2003, 07:59 AM
No scott no shortness of breath at that time,however I did felt a hint of panic creeping in that went away after I decided panic wasn't an option.
02-16-2003, 08:29 AM
The panic thing was going to be my next question. I'd almost bet it was C02; if you want to explore it further, my advice would be to post your question in the diving medicine section of Scubaboard. They have doctors that routinly participate and are great at giving feedback.
By the way, I had it happen to me once quite a while ago, and it's not pleasant. I was on a deep dive and had (badly) missed the ledge, and was swimming hard against current for several minutes to find the damn ledge. Like you said, panic is not an option. I stopped what I was doing, and started a slow and controlled ascent, making my 3 minute stop at 18 ft. After about a minute into the ascent, my blood gasses were normal and I was fine, but it was quite a learning experience.
Now, if I miss a ledge, I'll look for a couple of minutes but if I have no idea where it is, I'll come up (especially in a current). That makes good sense anyway, for several other reasons. I also make damn good and sure that we confirm our jug spot by bottom machine so the first scenerio doesn't happen. :D
02-16-2003, 10:43 AM
It sounds like what you experienced was respiratory alkalosis(hyperventilation). What happens is when you breathe real hard yor CO2 level drops and if it gets low enough you can get dizzy and see spots. It's happened to me chasing a poorly placed free shaft. Once you relax and slow your breathing your co2 level comes back up and the dizziness and spots go away. The reason this happens is CO2 level has a huge effect on how much blood flow goes to your brain. When you skip breathe your CO2 goes up and you get a kind of migrane from vascular spasm in your head from too much CO2, breathe too much and you get dizzy.
BTW, NO I'm not G-Man! My day job is Cardiovascular Perfusionist at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.
02-16-2003, 02:34 PM
Good point Spearhead , co2 levels have powerfull vasodilation /contraction effect on the brain to the point that hyperventilation is used as a quick ,short term fix to decrease intracraneal pressures.I do work in the medical field myself as a respiratory therapist.The issue of hyperventilation came to mind,I though that I could be overcompensating.My regulator was set very sensitive at that time not wanting to strain while working in that current ,so sensitive it would start flowing just by thinking about taking a breath, and wasn't even set at mid point of its capacity.Could this symptoms be more severe at greater deph?
Maybe respiratory alkalosis combined with a little narcosis, came to mind that I could be more prone to the rapture of the deep that I have realized.I have felt fuzzy headed at 80-90 ft however other times been fine at 120.What is the worst susceptibility/case of n2 narcosis you have witness?
02-16-2003, 03:19 PM
02-16-2003, 09:36 PM
Welcome Spearhead and Seahunt!
02-17-2003, 06:46 AM
Thanks for your replies ,next time when facing a similar situation will try not to overcompensate to see what happens.
02-17-2003, 09:31 AM
If feasible, an option when having to swim against a strong current is to drop to the bottom and use your knife to stab the sand and pull yourself along the bottom. The current is less right against the bottom as well. I've used this method several times.
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