Hospital of St John & St Elizabeth WHATISBOBO
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18th January 2012 - The Blog has Landed!
Doctor Oli aka 'The Thinker'

Greetings all and welcome to the occasional, intermittent and incongruous blog of Dr Oli. I'll be posting as and when I come across anything that might be of interest to our friendly diving brethren. The intention is to edify and amuse in roughly equal amounts, although for a guaranteed dose of the latter, I urge you to visit our fave dive instruct-or's blog.

I hope you all managed to catch BBC2's recent documentary on human physiology at depth, To Boldly Go. If not, guide your restless mouse fingers over to Dr Kevin Fong's very watchable programme on how our species' implacable urge to explore has driven us to overcome our physiological limitations, and descend to quite remarkable depths. It contained some great footage of oxygen toxicity, saturation diving and the effect of 5 atmospheres on a glass of champagne (or was it Prosecco - BBC budget cuts are clearly biting!) Having known Kevin for several years, I was able to forgive his use of the split infinitive in the title, particularly as he managed to explain some quite complex physiological concepts in a clear and entertaining way. Plus he recommended his wedding photographer to me, who did an exceptional job at my recent nuptials. So give the good doc a viewing and allow him to properly demystify the raptures and perils of the deep - see what I did there?

Oli

Dr Oliver Firth
 
Comments on this post:
 
14/02/2012

I read an article on wether it was safe to dive having obstructed sleep apnea. Funny because I was actually looking for information on wether long term diving could actually contribute to the disorder ? I was a working diver for 9 years with the us navy UCT. I have always been healthy(not fat) Never snored nor does it run In my large family.5 years in and I snored to the point that I clear a room at night. Never. Thought much of it,allot of peaple snore. I took a sleep study just for the hell of it. I stop breathing60 to 80 time in an hour! Can you point me in the right direction for info? The web can be such a vortex of information

Mike James
 
16/02/2012

Interesting. Most dive docs have come across the odd patient with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) who want to dive, but whether diving itself can contribute to OSA? That's a question I've not come across. Some swift Googling hasn't shown up much, and to be honest I can't think of a plausible mechanism through which diving would make OSA more likely.

In the UK, a study called ELTHI looked at the long term effects of diving in commercial divers, and found that three complaints were more common, when compared with non-diving offshore workers: 'forgetfulness or loss of concentration', 'joint pain or muscle stiffness' and 'impaired hearing'. There was little difference in lung function between divers and non-divers in this study, even when confounders such as smoking were taken into account.

I'd be interested to hear whether your respiratory physician feels there is any connection, but I don't know of any evidence myself.

Dr Oliver Firth
 
22/11/2012

I to was a Navy UCT Diver for 5 years. In great shape, don't snore, no family history of apnea and have now been diagnosed and sent home with a CPAP machine. I am also wondering if my dive history has something to do with the apnea. Several other friends in the Dive community have the same story.

Joe Southwell

 
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