Nitrox Diving

If you’re a scuba diver then you’ll be aware of the benefits of diving with air. It’s cheap, easy to use and there are plenty of places that offer it. But what if I told you there was another way? What if I said there was a way to get longer bottom times, or experience less decompression sickness, by using nitrox in diving?

Nitrox Diving

That’s right: nitrox diving! It’s not as common as scuba with air, but it can be done here in Sharm el Sheikh, so why not give it a try? Just follow these steps:

What is nitrox diving?

Nitrox is a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen. When divers breathe nitrox, they can stay underwater longer than if they were breathing air. Nitrox is often used by scuba divers because it allows them to dive deeper and stay underwater longer without suffering from decompression sickness (a condition that results when gas bubbles form in the body during decompression).

The deeper you go, the less time you have to get back up to the surface before your lungs fill up with carbon dioxide. That’s where nitrox comes into play. If you dive on air at a depth of 20 meters (65 feet), and your dive lasts for 60 minutes—the average time limit set by most agencies—you would need approximately 40 minutes of decompression afterward before returning safely to the surface

Why do divers use nitrox?

As a diver, you may be wondering: Why would I want to breathe nitrox?

The answer is simple. Nitrox allows you to dive deeper and remain at depth for longer periods of time. In addition, it can improve your safety by reducing the risk of decompression sickness and improving your ability to manage other hazards like hypothermia or high-pressure nervous syndrome. All of this is possible because nitrox reduces the partial pressure of nitrogen in your body nearly twice as much as air does—meaning that you can spend more time at depth without having to worry about suffering from nitrogen narcosis or decompression sickness (the bends).

The risks of nitrox diving

Nitrox diving is not for everyone. As a certified open water diver, you need to be familiar with basic diving skills and procedures before you even consider nitrox diving. You should talk to your instructor about the risks of using this gas mix (more on that in a moment).

Once you’re ready for nitrox diving, here are some important things to know:

  • Nitrogen Narcosis: Oxygen toxicity occurs when too much oxygen gets into your bloodstream and starts building up in your tissues. This condition can cause confusion, disorientation and even unconsciousness if left untreated. Nitrogen narcosis happens when there is too much nitrogen in your blood stream causing similar effects as above but without the symptoms being as severe or life-threatening as oxygen toxicity. For example, instead of passing out from lack of oxygen which could lead to drowning or death via hypoxia, divers suffering from nitrogen narcosis may become sleepy or confused while swimming around underwater (not good!). It’s also important because it can impair judgement while underwater leading someone away from safety into areas where they might otherwise stay away due to high currents/wave conditions etc…

The benefits of nitrox diving

Nitrox diving is a great way to improve your dive experience. It can help you dive longer, safer and enjoy yourself more. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Longer bottom times – Nitrox has less nitrogen than air so it doesn’t absorb as much into your body during the dive. This allows you to spend more time at depth without worrying about decompression sickness or getting too cold (nitrogen has an effect on both these things). You also have less narcosis and therefor feel better while diving deep. This means that instead of using up all your gas at once, you will be able to stay down longer because it lasts longer in your body than regular compressed air does.
  • Less risk of decompression sickness – When diving on nitrox we use different tables for calculating how much time between dives we need depending on how deep we were and for how long we stayed there; this reduces risk tremendously compared with doing the same thing using air which would result in more severe bends due to increased nitrogen content in blood stream after each descent/ascent cycle when using such tables as those from NOAA Diving Manual 2010 Edition .

Nitrox Diving VS Air

Nitrox diving is a lot more dangerous than air diving, but not because it’s illegal or anything. Instead, nitrox divers are at higher risk of decompression sickness (the bends) because they are taking in more nitrogen than their bodies can handle. While most people only need to worry about this during technical dives—where you do things like cave exploration and wreck diving—it’s still something that should be considered by any diver before deciding on what kind of gas mixture to use for your next dive.

You also have less control over your buoyancy when you use a nitrox mix: Because there is more oxygen in the mix, your body doesn’t have as much nitrogen in it, which means that your tissues aren’t as dense than normal. The result is that if you fill up on too much air when scuba diving with nitroxto avoid getting bent out of shape from overinflation…oops!

That being said, there are some benefits to using a nitrox mix in lieu of regular compressed air or mixed-gas mixtures such as Trimix or Heliair:

How is nitrox diving done?

Nitrox is a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen in a certain ratio, where the maximum amount of oxygen is limited to 80 percent. This means that nitrox reduces the risk of decompression sickness.

Because nitrox increases your breathing gas supply and reduces your risk for decompression sickness, it’s often used by scuba divers who want to dive deeper than recreational limits allow them to go without an increased risk of DCS.

When you dive with nitrox you’ll need a nitrox dive computer as well—the main difference being that you’ll have to calculate your maximum operating depth (MOD) differently than if you were going with air.

How do I know what mixture I’m breathing?

To determine the mixture in your tank, you must check a combination of factors.

  • First and foremost, you need to look at the pressure gauge on the tank. If it’s anything but 1,000 psi (or higher), then there’s a problem.
  • Next, look at the tag attached to your tank by holding it up to an overhead light source. Make sure that what is written there matches what you think it should be – do not trust any other markings on your tank!
  • If all else fails, check at least two other points: check under where your air valve should be (usually on top), and also make sure to examine the end of your hose as well., just in case there are any hidden safety features built in there as well!

Calculating your maximum operating depth (MOD) with different mixtures.

You can use the following formula to calculate your MOD for Nitrox diving:

MOD = P(EAN21) – 1.4 + 0.4 * (P(EAN32) – P(EAN21))


  • P is the maximum operating depth in feet; and
  • EAN is the equivalent air depth of the mixture used. For example, if you were using EAN32, then EAN would equal 32 feet; if you were using EAN40, then EAN would equal 40 feet. Since we are always dealing with feet as our unit of measurement for calculations involving dive tables, we will be converting everything into “feet” before doing any computations (as opposed to meters or other units).

Should I be doing nitrox dives in the Red Sea?

The Red Sea is a popular diving destination, but it can be difficult to find an instructor who knows how to teach Nitrox. Nitrox is a gas blend that replaces up to 21% of air with an inert gas mixture. This increases the amount of time you can spend underwater and reduces the risk of decompression sickness.

If you want to spend longer underwater, then you should consider using a different gas mixture when scuba diving.

If you want to spend longer underwater, then you should consider using a different gas mixture when scuba diving. The oxygen-rich nitrox mix is often used by long-term divers such as wreck divers, cave divers and even recreational divers in the depths of winter.

Nitrox is a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen that enables recreational scuba divers to extend their bottom time on dives by reducing the risk of decompression sickness – commonly known as ‘the bends’. However, it also means that users need to be familiar with the risks and benefits of nitrox diving before they begin (see FAQs).


Congratulations on making it to the end of this article! If you’ve read all of this and still have questions, don’t worry. There are a lot of different factors that go into choosing what mixture is right for you, so be sure to talk with your dive instructor about how they can help guide you through the process. Remember: no two divers are alike, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to nitrox diving!