Understanding Nitrox (EANx)
Nitrox is the common designation for every artificial mixture of air where certain amount of oxygen replaces that same amount of nitrogen, making it differently composed from the air we breathe. we call this mixes hyperoxic air mixes. Recreational use of nitrox is limited to 40% oxygen concentrations.
Regular air is 21% and 79% nitrogen, this mix is what you breathe as a non Nitrox diver, this mix is the standard for recreational diving and have many advantages and only one disadvantage, It have way too much nitrogen in it, nitrogen that in ambient pressure does not do anything. That´s why we call nitrogen an inert gas.
With pressure increased that nitrogen gets inside our blood. and penetrate our tissues in different grades. When we go back to surface, our body revert the process and gradually expel it. There is a maximum amount we can have in our body without being hurt. This limits are covered by what we call Recreational Diving. In Recreational diving you can go to the surface anytime without suffering any decompression sickness if you are a healthy person.
Is wrongly accepted by lots of people that nitrox allows you to dive deeper, this is FALSE, oxygen gets toxic as it is not an inert gas, if this matter interests you and want a deeper understanding visit Understanding MOD on this same blog, indeed oxygen generates almost the same simptoms of a nitrogen narcosis, that is, you add a extra small amount of risk to your dive. At the same time you reduce very much the nitrogen build up
Then why anyone would like to use NITROX? There are some reasons that could make you gladly accept that little extra risk, this advantages are:
-Longer dives without entering deco.
-Less surface time or longer repetitive dives
-Less air consumption (Recent studies over exercise performance with hyperoxic mixes)
There are limits on how deep you can go on a certain mixture but since Nitrox are hyperoxic mixes depth you can go get reduced. But as we all know the first 20 meters have most of the fishes. So now that you understand a little bit better, Are you willing to take the Nitrox course?