When you go scuba diving your body will inevitably become under pressure. As a result, the blood will travel from the vessels in your legs to your chest. So when you dive you will see your blood volume release in your chest meaning that your heart will take a larger amount of blood.
Once it starts doing that your heart’s four chambers will start to enlarge and this would then slightly increase your overall blood pressure which your body can detect with our built-in baroceptors, which are sensors that will detect that change in your blood pressure.
This raise in your blood pressure is only slight so if you are healthy and have no health problems, you probably won’t get affected but if you are an older diver you have to be careful.
Are Older Divers At A Heightened Blood Pressure & Heart Risk?
When you want to start scuba diving regularly you have to be screened for your fitness and health levels, so you have to have an initial screening, certification and health checks which would raise any health problems before you get into the water.
But once you have your certification and as you get older, your health will naturally decline but you don’t have to renew your scuba test so if you are diving a lot and you are older you may be at a higher risk of a heart attack due to higher blood pressure.
Scuba diving has become way more popular and so we have never before seen so many older people exposing themselves to elements that give extraordinary natural stresses so people who have spent most of their lives regularly scuba diving are now experiencing more heart problems.
Scuba Diving is a great sport to take up but like with anything as you get older your health and weight start to let you down, so make sure that you can enjoy diving as much as you did when you first started when you were younger, you need to look after your heart and body health and keep up with fitness so that the slight increase of blood pressure when you do go diving won’t affect you.
Can You Dive With High Blood Pressure?
If you already have a high blood pressure before you even enter the water, you can scuba dive but only if you can keep your blood pressure well under control, you may be required to do an assessment by a diving doctor before you enter the water to make sure you are not going to be negatively affected by scuba diving.
If you want to dive and you already have high blood pressure, your doctor might want you do some extra tests such as:
- A blood test to check your blood count, kidney function, cholesterol level and Hba1c (diabetes test)
- Urine test (urine ACR)
- Doing an electrocardiogram, which is an electrical tracing of your heart
Depending on your circumstances you may need more tests than this or less, it just depends on how well you are managing your blood pressure and how bad your health is before you enter the water.
If you are a newbie scuba diver, that is young and healthy the risk of you getting problems from high blood pressure from diving is very slim but as you get older or you are an older diver you might have produced more health or heart issues as you have gotten older.
So diving is possible as long as you do regular testing and your health hasn’t declined so much that you would be negatively impacted by doing scuba diving.