Updated: Aug 26
Diving with Enriched Air, also known as Nitrox, has both advantages and disadvantages. Here are 5 facts about Nitrox that you should know before considering it for your next dive:
Longer bottom time
Nitrox allows for longer bottom times. With a higher percentage of oxygen, Nitrox allows for less nitrogen absorption, resulting in longer underwater stays. This can be especially useful for dive excursions that involve multiple dives over multiple days, allowing you to spend more time exploring the underwater world.
Shorter surface intervals
Nitrox also leads to shorter surface intervals. Since less nitrogen is absorbed, it takes less time to de-gas on the surface, allowing for more dives over multiple days. This can be especially beneficial for those who want to maximize their dive time and experience as much as possible.
Decreased risk of DCS
Nitrox decreases the risk of decompression sickness. With less nitrogen absorption, the risks of decompression sickness are reduced, making Enriched Air a good option for those who have had DCS before or who are not very fit. This can provide a sense of safety and reassurance while diving, allowing you to enjoy the experience without worrying about potential health risks.
Not deeper, longer
Nitrox does not allow for deeper dives. Despite the belief that Nitrox allows for deeper dives, it is actually inappropriate for deep dives. Breathing oxygen at high pressure can become toxic, so the higher the oxygen percentage, the shallower the dive should be. It is important to understand and respect the limitations of Nitrox in order to avoid potential risks.
How to learn to dive on Nitrox?
Nitrox requires a specialty course. In order to dive with Nitrox, you must first take a PADI specialty course that covers the theory of Nitrox diving, including oxygen exposure management and dive equipment considerations. The PADI Enriched Air specialty is easy to complete: you can do all the theory online, and then choose whether you want to do only the practical parts or also add dives with Enriched Air on top.
We believe Nitrox is a valuable specialty to have, as it allows you to decide whether to use Enriched Air or normal air on each dive, depending on the conditions and your objectives. With the right training and precautions, Nitrox can provide an enhanced diving experience, especially when doing multiple dives per day.