One of the common questions that are often asked by people is how do scuba divers breathe underwater. We all have seen scuba divers with their wetsuits and all the scuba diving equipment and it can appear confusing. So, how do scuba divers breathe underwater?
There is an apparatus called SCUBA which allows divers to breathe the air compressed from the scuba tanks that the diver brings underwater with them. And the air in the scuba tanks is compressed. As a result, it is not possible to breathe directly from the tanks. So they use a regulator that regulators the air pressure and allows the diver to breathe normally.
In today’s post, we will go through in more detail how do scuba divers breathe underwater, so let’s get started!
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How Do Scuba Divers Breathe Underwater?
Scuba divers breathe underwater by using a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus called SCUBA, and by carrying a tank of compressed air and regulator.
SCUBA allows divers to breathe the air compressed in the scuba tanks that the diver brings underwater with them. And as the air is compressed to about 200 bar which is about 200 times the normal atmosphere. As a result, it is not possible to breathe directly from the tanks.
This is why scuba divers use regulators. As they need to regulate the air pressure to the surrounding pressure. Regulators have a 2 stage system, with the first stage reducing the air pressure and the second stage having a demand spring and valve that will open when the diver inhaled, releasing the air from the first stage.
This is how divers breathe underwater.
Do Divers Use Pure Oxygen?
No divers do not use pure oxygen. Generally, breathing 100% oxygen for long periods of time can be harmful.
Can You Breathe Through Your Nose When Scuba Diving?
No, you can not breathe through your nose while scuba diving. As the air to breathe comes through the regulator with goes into the diver’s mouth. Most beginner divers find it hard to learn to breathe entirely through their mouths.
Why Are Scuba Divers Taught To Not Hold Their Breath?
The rule told to all scuba divers that they should never to never hold their breath when scuba diving is for safety and improves air consumption.
The danger of holding your breath is the deeper you go, the pressure increases. As the pressure increases the volume of your lungs decreases. This means the air inside your lungs, becomes compressed the further down you go.
It’s okay if you breathe normally but if you hold your breath the issue is if you ascend. The air in your lungs will expand as the water pressure decreases. With nowhere to go, it will damage your lungs.
Also if a diver holds their breath underwater will not decrease their air consumption but it increases the concentration of carbon dioxide in their lungs, which makes them feel starved for air. Therefore increasing air consumption.
Why Do Scuba Divers Have To Come Up Slowly?
Scuba divers need to ascend slowly this includes the safety stop to the surface, as it allows time for the body to get of the nitrogen build-up in the diver’s body.
If the scuba diver comes up too quickly the nitrogen will expand and include the risk of decompression sickness.
Can Human Lungs Get Oxygen From Water?
No humans can not breathe underwater, therefore, can not get oxygen from water. Simply, human lungs are not able to absorb oxygen from water.
Finally, there is an apparatus called SCUBA which allows divers to breathe the air compressed from the scuba tanks that the diver brings underwater with them. And the air in the scuba tanks is compressed. As a result, it is not possible to breathe directly from the scuba tanks. So, they use a regulator that regulators the air pressure and allows the diver to breathe normally.
And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on how do scuba divers breathe underwater has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.