Many scuba divers have a fear of swallowing water while diving.
It’s only natural that you would be worried about accidentally swallowing some water.
But the truth is, there’s no need to worry.
Swallowing a little bit of water while diving is perfectly normal and happens to almost everyone at some point or another.
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Swallowing helps equalize your ears
One of the most common reasons why scuba divers swallow while diving is because they are trying to equalize their ears.
When you descend underwater, the pressure around you increases.
This increase in pressure can cause your eardrums to become painful.
In order to prevent this from happening, you need to equalize the pressure in your ears by ” clearing” them.
There are a few different ways to do this, but one of the most common is simply to swallow.
What does swallowing when diving do?
Swallowing helps to equalize the pressure in your ears because it opens up the Eustachian tubes, which connect your throat to your middle ears.
By opening up these tubes, you allow air to flow into your middle ears and equalize the pressure.
What should you do if you swallow water when diving?
If you do happen to swallow a little bit too much water while diving, don’t worry.
It’s not harmful and will simply cause you to feel a little bit uncomfortable.
It’s important to stay calm and to breathe normally through your regulator and to try not to panic.
If you start to feel nauseous or like you’re going to vomit, it’s best to surface and take a break from diving.
The risks of swallowing water while diving
While swallowing a small amount of water while diving is unlikely to cause any harm, ingesting large amounts of water can lead to various health complications.
These include but are not limited to:
Shortness of breath
Nausea and vomiting
Muscle aches and pains
Swallowing large amounts of water can also lead to more serious health complications such as pneumonia, meningitis, and encephalitis.
These conditions can be fatal if not treated immediately. As such, it is important to be aware of the risks before deciding to swallow any water while diving.
Tips for avoiding water ingestion while diving
There are a few things you can do to avoid swallowing water while diving.
First, make sure to practice proper dive safety procedures.
This includes using a dive mask that fits properly and checking your equipment for leaks before each dive.
Second, breath normally throughout the dive.
This will help prevent you from feeling the urge to take deep breaths, which can lead to water inhalation.
Finally, if you do accidentally swallow some water, don’t panic and breathe normally, the water will be repelled from your lungs.