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August 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 28, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Decongestants and DCS: No Link, So Far

from the August, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Many divers use decongestants occasionally or regularly to prevent or treat congestion of the ears and sinuses during scuba diving. The more popular of these drugs include agents that stimulate the sympathetic nervous system ("sympathomimetics"), such as pseudoephedrine (e.g., Sudafed Congestion), phenylephrine (e.g., Sudafed PE) and oxymetazoline (e.g., Afrin Original) that work by reducing swelling in affected membranes. An association between using these drugs and decompression sickness has been theorized for some time, but until very recently, not subjected to rigorous research....


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