South African Journal of Sports Medicine

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Recreational scuba divers’ knowledge regarding the audiological consequences of the sport

D Pillay, NP Jardine


Background: The sport of scuba diving may be associated with possible injuries, especially those concerning the auditory system. Research available focuses on the implications of recreational scuba diving on the auditory system. However, there is a lack of information regarding the knowledge of recreational scuba divers with regard to the audiological consequences of this sport. Method: The aim of this study was to determine whether scuba divers have knowledge pertaining to the consequences of the sport on the auditory system. Thirty-five participants were purposefully selected; their qualifications ranged from an open water diver to a course director. A mixed-method design was implemented in this study with the use of a questionnaire. Results: Forty per cent of the participants were given only the basic medical clearance form to complete; the full medical pack was not made available. However, 97% of the participants signed the medical clearance. One participant did not know that a medical clearance form was required. There were 82% of the participants who had audiological complications subsequent to diving; these individuals did not seek help from an audiologist and continued to dive. Conclusion: There is a need for awareness regarding the effects of diving on the auditory system as participants in this study were not fully aware of the risks of the sport in relation to the ear. The results suggest that participants who experience ear difficulties after dives,do not have sufficient knowledge regarding the ear and the professional who is qualified to assess and manage the difficulties.
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