Diving for Seniors

By Fred Bove, M.D., Ph.D. The inevitability of aging ultimately becomes apparent to divers. As time goes on, we need to consider the changes that occur and modify our diving to accommodate reduced physical conditioning, development of chronic illness and less mobility of muscles and joints. Some scientists suggest the risk of decompression sickness increases…


Flying After Diving

By Fred Bove, M.D., Ph.D. I recently received several questions regarding the pro- per time to fly after diving. The dilemma usually occurs at the end of a vacation, when you want to make those last dives. Is it reasonable to dive on the day of departure? Should you finish diving the day before or…


Diving and Blood Thinners

By Fred Bove, M.D., Ph.D. We have received a number of inquiries recently about divers who take the anticoagulant Coumadin. Although the ability of the blood to clot is one of the most important defenses against blood loss when injured, there are certain conditions where reducing the ability to clot is beneficial. Coumadin is used…


Medical Update From the UHMS

By Fred Bove, M.D., Ph.D. Last June, the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society held its annual meeting and new information about current research was presented. There was considerable interest in unexplained lung congestion (pulmonary edema) developed while diving. This is associated with severe shortness of breath, cough, frothy material coming from the lungs and abnormal…


Food and Fitness

By Fred Bove, M.D., Ph.D. I was running along a favorite trail recently, when I came upon a longtime friend. We ran together to catch up on events and, during our conversation, the subject fell to nutrition. He was trying to sort out a large amount of information he had researched about diets. These are…


Vertigo

By Fred Bove, M.D., Ph.D. A diver with a full wetsuit is diving in cold water. When he pulls the hood out from his ear to relieve a pressure difference, he notices the surface tilting and his buddies see that he is spinning in the water. The spinning sensation caused by the cold water entering…


Squeeze

By By Fred Bove, M.D., Ph.D. Perhaps the most troublesome part of diving is the continuous need to avoid the consequences of pressure changes associated with depth. The physical effects of pressure are described by Boyle’s Law, which defines the relation between pressure and volume. Boyle’s Law states that the product of absolute pressure and…


Muscle Cramps

Muscles are the machinery that allows motion, not only of the limbs but of the whole body, including adjustment of the eyes to bright or dark environments, tuning of the eardrum, speech, swallowing, beating of the heart, regulation of blood pressure, motion of the intestines to allow digestion and many other functions. Every motion of…


Lyme Disease

By Fred Bove, M.D., Ph.D. If you dive in freshwater lakes or the coastal areas of the northeastern United States, around Minnesota and Wisconsin, or along the Pacific Coast of Northern California, you should be aware of tick bites and Lyme disease. Ticks are found in forests and fields and can be contacted when you…


Keeping Blood Vessels Healthy

By Fred Bove, M.D., Ph.D. I am frequently asked about diving by those with blockage of an artery. The most recent inquiry was from a 48 year old man who had complete blockage of one of his carotid arteries (the arteries that supply the brain) and a 50 percent narrowing of the other. These two…