What is NITROX?
In diving terminology; any mixture of nitrogen and oxygen, where these two gases represent the major constituents of the gas mix, is termed NITROX. Note that mixes which contain more than trace levels of other gases in addition to nitrogen and oxygen are not NITROX. Air (which is what we breath on land) is considered a NITROX mix. NITROX mixes which are hyperoxic (contain more than 21% oxygen) are variously known as; Enriched Air, Enriched Air Nitrox (EAN or EANx). For the most part, sport divers will only be interested in hyperoxic NITROX mixes.
Why would you want to use NITROX?
The biggest reason you would want to use NITROX is longer No Decompression Limits or NDLs. With this, we get a reduced decompression penalty due to the lower level of nitrogen absorbed during the dive. This may be realized by surfacing according to the NITROX tables or as an additional safety factor by following the standard air tables.
Shorter surface intervals and longer subsequent dives due to the lower residual nitrogen level following a dive. The surface interval is followed for the EAD not the actual depth. Again it may be used as safety padding by following the standard air surface interval. Nitrox provides faster off-gassing than air during decompression. It may be used to reduce the length of the decompression penalty by following a nitrox decompression schedule, or it may be used as padding to increase the safety factor by following an air decompression schedule. This is similar to the use of pure oxygen during decompression. On the surface it also provides an alternative to pure O2 in situations where it is desirable to breath a mix with a higher O2 percentage than air.
The reduced level of nitrogen in your system has also been claimed to reduce the feeling of lethargy or tiredness following a dive, this is thought to be due to a reduction in sub clinical DCS ie a reduction in the number of asymptomatic bubbles in our system after a dive. The following claims are also made of nitrox.
For more info come into the store and ask one of our PADI nitrox instructors about the many different courses which are avalible here.