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Posted : February 10, 2008
Hi Doctor firth,

I live in the middle east, in Dubai - and am not aware of any dive specialist doctors in this region.

I dived yesterday on a wreck called the miriam express a ferry lying on the bottom of the arabian gulf, at a depth of between 22 and 24 meters.

After 4 or 5 mins at this depth I begain to feel very odd. My balance and corordination seemed to be affected. I felt disorientated, my visison began to blur. I ascended a couple of meters and my head cleared - I waited and then tried to continue with the dive. The symptoms reappeared and if anything seemed more prononounced. I felt like I was loosing controll of my faculties, and was worried that I might faint.

At this point II aborted the dive, made a controlled ascent and returned to the boat. There have been no lasting effects, and no side effects that I am aware of. I am a 33 year old male - I am 5 11 and way 78 kgs. I am fit and healthy.

The conditions yesterday seemed mixed. Viz at 1 or 2 meters and water at 16 degrees ( cold for the gulf)

Is this this the sort of unpredictable physiological thing that happens from time to time, is it some form of narcosis. Will there be any benefit in seeing a "normal GP" with no real dive specialism.

To be honest at the moment I am more confused than worried by this - but am keen to avoid a repeat.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated.

Posted : February 11, 2008
Hi there. This could be a form of narcosis, if you are unused to diving at these sort of depths. It could also be related to sinus or middle ear pressure if you had any equalising problems during the dive, or pre-existing congestion. However this would be unlikely to cause visual blurring. It is unlikely to be DCI as the symptoms resolved so quickly.

If you are entirely well now I would not be too concerned, but it may be a good idea to see a Dr to clear you of any obvious problems with the ears or sinuses. If it recurs, then you need to see someone with dive medicine experience to be examined more formally.

Dr O
Answer provided by Dr Oliver Firth
Dr Ollie Firth
The views expressed by Dr Firth & Dr Jules are their own and the publishers accept no liability for the advice and views expressed by Dr Firth , Dr Jules, or other users, which are provided as a general service to divers. Users are warned that secondary posts are the views of other users and may not be medically correct.
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