Can you scuba dive if you have epilepsy?

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Can you scuba dive if you have epilepsy?

Wondering if you can go scuba diving if you have epilepsy? 

Generally, you should not scuba dive if you have epilepsy. The main reason is what is known as a generalized tonic-clonic seizure. This type of seizure can be triggered by the pressure changes you get from scuba diving. It can also be triggered from being in an enriched oxygen environment such as being on a boat and having heightened air pressure.


What is epilepsy and how does it relate to diving?

Epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder that affects many people around the world. There are a wide range of types and severities of epilepsy, but it is most often characterized by seizures.

A seizure is a result of temporary changes in behavior due to electric or chemical misdirection in the brain. It can also involve disturbances in movement, awareness, and sensitivity to surroundings.

A generalized tonic-clonic seizure is a type of seizure occurs when nerve cell activity becomes disturbed by electrical impulses in your brain. These impulses may cause stiffening or relaxation of muscles throughout your body.

You may have muscle jerks or spasms too which causes you to lose control over parts or all of your body for a short time. This is why scuba diving with epilepsy is not a good idea.


What happens during an underwater seizure when diving?

When you have a generalized tonic-clonic seizure, you lose control over your body and consciousness. It’s possible that you might even stop breathing for a bit as well which could be deadly underwater or in any other situation for that matter. You may also swallow water accidentally from the sea if this happens too which would cause further problems to what already exists with your epilepsy.

Even though most people who suffer from epilepsy lead normal lives, they probably should avoid scuba diving!

Is it safe for me to dive if I only have focal seizures? Focal seizures are less severe than generalized tonic-clonic so they may be more manageable during scuba diving. There is still the danger of swallowing water during one, but it isn’t as likely to cause problems as a generalized tonic-clonic seizure would.

The right answer is that you shouldn’t scuba dive if you have epilepsy at all. There’s an argument that you can five if you’ve not had a seizure for a number of years and have them under control, but you should always consult a doctor prior to going on a dive.



As mentioned above, even though I personally recommend you don’t scuba dive if you have epilepsy, your doctor may say otherwise.

f you’re lucky, your doctor will agree that it’s safe for you to dive and help you get your certification from a reputable school. The only thing left is to find a scuba diving instructor who can accommodate people with epilepsy or other conditions such as asthma. But if not, don’t worry!

There are plenty of ways to explore the underwater world without ever getting wet — like snorkeling, which doesn’t require any deep breathing apparatus at all (just some patience).