Migraines and DCS

May 15, 2015 4:17 pm / Category: Uncategorized

Getting into diving with a history of migraines? Have you been diving but are developing migraines? Is this something a diver needs to why worry about?
This article explains the relationship between migraines and the presence of a right-to-left shunt. We know that the presence of PFO’s (patent foramen ovale) increases the risk of type II DCS. However, PFO’s are not the only condition that may cause a right-to-left shunt from occurring.
A hole in the cardiac septum i.e. “hole in the heart”, such as an atrial or ventricular septal defect could, in certain circumstances, allow for bubbles to bypass the pulmonary system to go straight into the left side. Another example is the occurrence of intrapulmonary shunts that also have been implicated. Link to report.
The findings of this article were:
  • Migraines with aura in daily life unconnected with diving occurred significantly more frequently in individuals who had a large shunt.
  • Post-dive auras were significantly more frequent in people with large shunts.
If you have migraines or know of someone who does and dives, you might consider looking further into it.