Since 1997
History of Seizures
by DAN Medical Team on June 6th, 2016

​When my son was young, he went through a period where he fainted several times. The doctors never really knew why and he seemed to grow out of it. Now he wants to learn to dive. Will his history of fainting present a problem?

This is a difficult question to answer since many variables can cause transient alteration of consciousness. These alterations of consciousness include fainting, a drop in blood pressure which is very common in young people, an alteration in heart rhythm that is more common in older people, the effects of medication and psychological events, such as hallucinations.
​Fitness & Diving

As with epilepsy, any loss of consciousness underwater is likely to have a bad outcome. When diving using nitrox or mixed gas as a breathing gas, increased partial pressures of oxygen can increase the likelihood of seizures. Increased carbon dioxide may also increase seizure risk.

The best advice is to get a precise diagnosis of the cause of these altered states of consciousness: effective treatment is often available. You cannot make a reasonable fitness-to-dive decision until this is sorted out. It may take some time and a visit to a neurologist or other specialist. Ask your doctor first.

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