Scuba diving is meant to be fun, but some people tend to suffer from headaches. Are you one of them? Here are a few tips to make your scuba diving more pleasantable.
Are you rubber-necking?
One of the greatest things about diving is the fact that you get to take in the myriad wonderful sights of the undersea world. No-one wants to be 'The One' who did not see the highlight of the dive, whatever that might be. However, your body position in the water and how you move around in order to take in the sights may be the cause of your cranial discomfort. Finishing along with a horizontal body position and making your neck do all the work looking left, right, up, down and behind you can cause stress. Better to relax your neck and change your body position to allow you to take in the sights without the pain caused by hyperextension of the neck.
How is your air consumption?
Breathing and headaches are clearly closely linked. Breathing bad air can give you a headache. When you have a headache you often crave 'a bit of fresh air'. Are you breathing in a relaxed manner? Shallow rapid breathing is a shortcut to a headache. So too is skip-breathing. The best way to improve your air consumption is to stop thinking about it. Relaxed, slow breathing of air from a scuba tank should be no more likely to give you a headache than normal breathing at the surface.
Another possibility to chew on.
Are you biting down on your regulator mouthpiece? This is a very common action for divers before they become regular, experienced divers. If it was not, why would so many rental regulators have their mouthpieces practically hanging off? A tense, clenched jaw and a headache go together like American foreign policy and Global Terrorism so what to do? Well (in either case) stop and think about what you are doing and how you are creating the problem. Then stop biting down on that mouthpiece. Also available on the market are mouthpieces which you warm in water then bite into them molding them to your upper teeth. The result is a mouthpiece which fits like a glove and helps you forget it is there. No more clenching or chewing – no more chairs.
If you are sure that none of the above apply to you then maybe you need to look within for the cause. Relax, stay fit, have regular check-ups and make sure you have the right amount of thermal protection when diving. Scuba diving can and should be a fun way to spend time on holiday. It is such a shame to allow heads to get in the way of your fun. However following the above steps should go some way to making your scuba experience more enjoyable and pain-free.