For a professional diver like yourself, one of the biggest hazards of the job is decompression sickness. You have to be very careful not to develop a case of this potentially deadly disorder.
Decompression sickness does go by a few different names, all of which refer to the same thing. Some of these names include Caisson Disease, the bends and decompression illness. No matter what you call it, it happens because of changing pressure as you return to the surface. If the pressure changes too quickly, you wind up with too much nitrogen in your blood when you get back to the top. The key is to surface slowly and potentially stop along the way so that your body can slowly work off the extra nitrogen without any ill effects.
If you do get depression sickness, here are some of the symptoms to watch out for:
- Joint pain
- Limb pain
- Extreme fatigue
- Heart issues
- Respiratory issues
- Skin rashes
- Blurred vision
- General confusion
- Ringing in your ears
- Feeling sick to your stomach
These symptoms can absolutely be debilitating, and they may land you in the hospital. It is incredibly important to take them seriously. Do not try to “tough it out.” Remember that decompression sickness can take lives. Get the treatment you need to protect yourself. Accidents happen, and you must know what to do next.
Of course, an accident on the job may lead to massive medical bills and lost wages. Make sure you know all of your rights and what to do to help cover your costs.