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Nitrogen Narcosis
SLICK - 9/07/2010 5:21 PM
Category: Health & Safety
Replies: 6

I’ve received the $8.00 buzz before. Have you?

My experience: I had just taken my Advanced Open Water course in 1995 and wanted to try a deep dive with a Divemaster by my side. Sure I was gung-ho about everything, and had learned about NN in my Open Water and Advanced classes, but was it real? We dropped down to 50’ quickly, then I had trouble equalizing. From 50’ to 110’, I had to force equalization at a less than comfortable pace. When I got to 125’, it got easier, and I felt great! This was my deepest dive, and I wanted to go deeper! We dropped to 154’, (I know...too deep) then something not so funny happened. My vision went from 20’ to less than a foot, in just a few seconds. I was drunk as a skunk and spinning vertically at about 60 to 80 RPM. I signaled my DM buddy that I was loopy, and he immediately grabbed my BCD and we started kicking to the surface. At about 60’, the symptoms had almost completely vanished, but I got to thinking what if I didn’t have my buddy?

I’ve been Narced a few time since, and I finally found out what was causing it. Care to take a guess? I’ll give you a chance to guess, and I’ll answer on Friday!
Greg - 9/08/2010 8:37 AM
I just posted a survey about Nitrogen Narcosis.
AOW_dude - 9/08/2010 8:24 PM

I’m yet to experience it but I’m interested to find out what you think the reason was in your case. I was kind of under impression that the more deep dives you log, statistically you’re gonna get narked sooner or later even if you always dive by the book. If there is a silver bullet out there, how to never get narked with multiple deep dives over the years, I’d like to know what it is.

Funny, I goofed up on my AOW Deep dive too. I’ve been cold water diving in full 7mm and it always felt warm enough, sometimes too warm. Well, for my deep dive I took off the hood and gloves, wanted to try what it’s like. Duh! Got the worst ice-cream headache of my life.
aarontonry - 9/10/2010 12:02 PM
Well slick,I too am interested to know what was causing the buzzz??? Gas not mixed correctly?? I am getting ready for my advanced open water diving class real soon. From what you explained I think I have felt that feeling this summer in an open water dive. We were at 30’ and the water was ugly to say the least at one point my dive buddy kicked up a whole bunch of junk off of the bottom,cutting my viso down to were I could not see past my mask! I felt like I was sitting too close to a fuzzy television. Then I started feeling very dizzy. I couldn’t tell if I was upside down,backward or what!!! It was kinda funny after the fact but I’m not exactly looking forward to that happening again lol!!!
SaintsReturn - 9/23/2010 12:46 PM
well your deadlined past, so i am going to guess anyway. AIR/depth? let us know
SLICK - 9/28/2010 11:37 PM

Sorry All! Had to go to Vegas for a, the answer...

The Nitrogen Narcosis was caused by weight gain...sort of. I gained about 30 pounds, which made my wet suit too tight, causing constriction of my chest. Although slight, the constriction was causing me to take shorter breaths, and I was not able to expell about 30% of my carbon dioxide while exhaling. The carbon dioxide mixed with the nitrogen accounted for almost 90% of each breath, therefor, only 10% was oxygen.

I know, that doesn’t sound right or good, but when recreated in a hypobaric chamber, that’s what we discovered. By removing the wetsuit, the oxygen intake rose 40%, to almost 70%, at 4 ATA. I now dive with a larger wetsuit, and have not had Nitrogen Narcosis since. Thanks for all of your inquiries.


SaintsReturn - 9/29/2010 9:06 AM
wow! And i have been debating buying a bigger wetsuit instean of squeezing into mine that "shrunk." good info and thank you for the info