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Nitrox Diving- Back to the basics!

What is Nitrox?

Nitrox is a gas that is generally used for recreational diving. The gas is simply a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen, which in recreational diving terms, is sometimes referred to as ‘enriched air nitrox (EAN)’. The oxygen concentration in the air is normally around 21%, however the oxygen concentration in nitrox is higher. Nitrox refers to any combination with levels of oxygen between 21 and 40 percent- 32% is a common oxygen content used.



How Nitrox Diving works?

The well-used term ‘decompression sickness’ (DCS), also known as ‘the bends’ starts when nitrogen enters the divers bloodstream and as they dive deeper, the pressure will also increase. When the nitrogen builds up and the diver comes to the surface too quickly (without performing decompression stops), the diver’s body will need time to remove the absorbed oxygen and may experience decompression sickness as a result. DCS is extremely unpleasant and in some cases it can be deadly, which is why so much research has been driven into how we can prevent it from happening.

Instead of using a standard mix, divers started using nitrox as it helps increase your allowed diving time due to offering less nitrogen and more oxygen. This means that less nitrogen can be absorbed into the bloodstream which therefore extends the ‘no decompression limit’, or in other words, you get longer bottom times. While this doesn’t completely prevent DCS, it reduces the risk of it occurring. However, divers must also remember not to exceed maximum depth or bottom time!

Another benefit of using nitrox is shorter decompression times, this is because there is less nitrogen to be absorbed in the body, meaning that there is less nitrogen to expel from the body when resurfacing.


Do I need a nitrox Analyser?

If you use nitrox, its recommended you have a nitrox analyser. Although most stores sell premixed gas and the percentage is usually written near the tank valve, it’s a good idea to still check the levels to avoid any harm, by using a nitrox analyser.

While oxygen is a key element to human life, oxygen at higher levels can be harmful to us too, this is called oxygen toxicity. If the oxygen concentration in the nitrox mix is too high, the diver may experience seizures, unconsciousness, breathing difficulty, damage to the lungs and eyes and in worst cases death. Oxygen toxicity gives no or little warning before you experience these severe symptoms, which is what makes it so dangerous. It’s safer to check your gas mix before you dive in order to eliminate risk of oxygen toxicity.


What is the Analox O2EII Pro Nitrox Analyser and why should I choose it?

Nitrox Analyser


The O2EII Pro is a nitrox checker with an LCD display. The device is highly accurate and is a must have for all scuba divers!

The O2EII Pro nitrox analyser comes with a 3 year sensor warranty with an expected life span of 4-5 years!

Using the O2EII Pro to monitor your gas mix will help you to determine a safe dive plan allowing you to easily propose the correct depth, time and decompression stages needed for a care-free dive.

The unit is small and lightweight and can be used to check your nitrox mix directly at the tank or through your BCD adapter allowing you to take your O2EII Pro with you on all of your dives, giving you peace of mind wherever you are.


For more information, or to place an order for the O2EII Pro, get in touch now.


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Posted in Miscellaneous, Scuba Diving

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