Cozumel Hyperbaric Chambers - Try Not To Spend Time Here!
Due to Cozumel's deep diving reefs and foreigners' tendencies to get dehydrated, Cozumel has a fairly high frequency of divers who experience decompression sickness or DCS. Luckily, Cozumel also has a number of hyperbaric chambers, or decompression chambers, ready to treat divers who showing symptoms of the bends.
On my last trip to Cozumel, my sinuses were quite congested, so I was having a lot of trouble equalizing my ears while diving. On one dive I was concerned that I may have ruptured an eardrum, so I went to a local dive doctor to get my ear examined. While there, the staff was kind enough to give us a tour of their office and hyperbaric chamber.
Basically, if it is determined that you are experiencing decompression sickness, you will need to go lay down in one of these chambers for the doctor's prescribed amount of time. I won't attempt to give any scientific information here, but the doctor said the treatments are often for about 5 hours per day for a number of days. A high level of oxygen is also pumped into the pressure chamber in order to get rid of the excess nitrogen built up in your body. If you need this treatment, try to find a chamber with a bed and a TV - cause you'll be in there for a while!
Also - because this is a Mexican insurance website, and we want to advise you of how to protect yourself beyond just Mexican auto insurance - we also highly recommend carrying the DAN, Divers Emergency Network, insurance for scuba divers. Hyperbaric chamber treatment can cost tens of thousands of dollars, so it is a good idea to have the insurance.
We wish you happy and safe diving!