— Jonathan Gilliam, EMT-P, DMT>I have been a dive instructor for more than 20 years. Last year I was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; I do not take any medication for my condition, and I have passed several tests, including a full stress test last February. About a month ago I met with my cardiologist to discuss my fitness to dive. My physician is pleased with my stress test results, and he reviewed my Recreational Scuba Training Council (RSTC) Medical Statement. After my exam he recommended that I exercise but avoid training that would increase my heart rate to more than 160 beats per minute for prolonged periods. He did not say that I couldn't dive, but he said there is potential for increased risk if something happens to me while underwater. What is your professional medical opinion on this condition? Can I still dive?
— Matías Nochetto, M.D.>I am a dive instructor living in Denmark, and I travel to the United Kingdom four or five times a year either by car or on the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle to cross the English Channel. The Channel Tunnel lies 246 feet (75 meters) below sea level, and you can clearly feel your ears popping as you ride through. Does this exposure to increased pressure affect me if I want to dive immediately before or after riding the shuttle, even if I am doing repetitive dives?
— Petar Denoble, M.D., D.Sc.>© Alert Diver — Q1 Winter 2019