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Although not officially a subset of Aerospace Medicine, the discipline of Dive Medicine has many similarities both in practice and spirit. The US Navy and both recreational and competitive scuba organizations utilize physicians specialized in Dive Medicine to address the physiological stressors of underwater exploration.
Many of the unique medical conditions affecting divers such as decompression illness and trapped gas also affect aviators due to pressure changes. Similar to assessing fitness for flight, dive medicine specialists have to consider the overall health of a diver and clear them medically prior to SCUBA. Hyperbaric Medicine, a medical fellowship in itself, is often used to treat diseases that affect both aviators & divers.
Clearing Your Ears
Most aviators learn early in their career that flying with a simple upper respiratory infection or seasonal allergies can be painful. Gases in the sinuses and middle ear expand in accordance with Boyles Law as altitude increases and pressure decreases. [For a full discussion on the Gas Laws that apply[...Click Below to Read More]read more
Trapped Gas – Air Expansion at Altitude
How many people have flown on a long commercial flight and landed at their destination only to find that a toiletry container had opened and spilled its contents all over their luggage? What causes this mysterious spilling of shampoos and lotions you may ask? And what does Dr Antonio Valsalva[...Click Below to Read More]read more
Decompression Illness in Aviation
Before English chemist, William Henry, took his own life in 1836, he discovered a simple physics law to explain how gas behaves in solution. This gas law, now appropriately known as Henry’s Law, together with Boyle’s Law, form the basis of the pathophysiology and treatment for Decompression Illness. Henry’s Law[...Click Below to Read More]read more