Recreational Dive Physicals
Homero Rivas II, MD received his Basic Open Water dive certification in 1993 and has completed numerous advanced dive certifications since. He has been active as an open water and technical scuba diver since that time.
Dr. Rivas has been actively scuba diving for 20 years. His other dive certifications include:
- Advanced Open Water Diving
- Scuba Rescue Diver
- Basic Nitrox Diver
- Nitrox Gas Blender
- Technical Nitrox Diver
- Full Cave Diver
- Normoxic Trimix Diving
- Overhead Environment DPV Diver
He is currently on the physician referral network for the Divers Alert Network (DAN).
For those who are considering to learn how to scuba dive or are pursuing more advanced dive certifications, Dr. Rivas can help with required medical forms and other dive medicine questions.
Learning to Scuba Dive
If one is considering to learn how to scuba dive, it is important to remember that not all diving conditions are the same. While diving, a diver may unexpectedly need to physically exert themselves. For example, one may need to swim against a strong current or may have to make a long swim to get back to the boat or shore. As a result of the physical requirements, a diver should not have any health conditions and should not be taking any medications that would interfere with their ability to safely dive.
Pre-Dive Physical Examination
Because of the physical demands of scuba diving, individuals desiring to achieve their basic open water scuba diving certification will need to get medical clearance prior to taking the class. Typically, this involves filling out a medical questionnaire provided by the dive instructor and certifying agency. If one has no medical issues or conditions, then a physician evaluation is usually not necessary. If a potential dive student has a diagnosed medical condition, then a physician referral is required. The purpose of the evaluation is a simple assessment of any medical conditions to determine compatibility with scuba diving.
There is no upper age limit to participate in scuba diving, provided a diver is healthy and fit and has no disqualifying medical conditions. For older divers and those who are out of shape, they may need to perform an exercise tolerance test to rule out potential cardiac problems. This test provides a physician with information about how well someone responds to exercise.
Restrictions on Diving
Some medical conditions such as colds, allergies, injuries, or pregnancy are reasons to temporarily restrict diving. Other medical conditions that restrict movement in a diver’s limbs may limit mobility under water. Additionally, some people may experience pain or discomfort while diving, which may mimic the symptoms of decompression illness. These and other health issues require individual evaluation by a physician before learning to scuba dive. As a physician and a diver, Dr. Rivas can help a potential diver determine if he or she can safely dive and if further testing is needed.
- See your physician regularly
- Participate in a regular exercise program
- Be rested and well-nourished before diving
- Use proper exposure protection and well maintained equipment
- Plan your dive and dive your plan to avoid overexertion
Scuba diving is an activity that anyone with good health and fitness can enjoy throughout their lifetime.
Have Fun Diving!