The syndrome known as Carotid Sinus Reflex during scuba diving is usually a result of dilation or widening of the internal carotid artery in the neck.
Swelling can happen due to any form of stimulation to the carotid sinus artery which is generally caused by an excessively tight fitting exposure suit neck seal.
What is the Carotid Sinus?
The Carotid Sinus is situated in the neck, and is an organ important in the maintaining of suitable blood pressure.
It is hypersensitive to assorted pressures and other stimulation which can result in a rapid change in blood pressure and heart rate function - sometimes with lethal effect.
If the carotid has a condition of hypersensitivity, these detrimental effects can be accidentally 'triggered' by such innocent, daily activity such as shaving the neck.
Carotid Sinus Hypersensitivity is a potentially dangerous response condition and is normally the cause of dizziness and more. Those with this condition often experience such dizzy spells - even resulting in unexplained falling over.
Tight-fitting wet suit top or dry suit neck seal exerting excess pressure on the neck. This may follow a rapid ascent in a dry suit, especially after a blowup with a large bubble of air collecting under the neck seal, which fails to give. This syndrome may be combined with pulmonary barotrauma.
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