Signs and Symptoms of Nitrogen Narcosis

The following lists the signs and symptoms of nitrogen narcosis at various depths.

Depth: 33-100 feet

  • Mild impairment of performance of unpracticed tasks.
  • Mildly impaired reasoning.
  • Mild euphoria possible.

Depth: 100-165 feet

  • Delayed response to visual and auditory stimuli.
  • Reasoning and immediate memory affected more than motor coordination.
  • Calculation errors and wrong choices.
  • Idea fixation.
  • Overconfidence and sense of well-being.
  • Laughter and loquacity (in chambers), which may be overcome by self-control.
  • Anxiety (common in cold, murky water).

Depth: 165-230 feet

  • Sleepiness, impaired judgment confusion.
  • Hallucinations.
  • Severe delay in response to signals, instructions and other stimuli.
  • Occasional dizziness.
  • Uncontrolled laughter, hysteria (in chamber).
  • Terror in some

Depth: 230-300 feet

  • Poor concentration and mental confusion.
  • Stupefaction with some decrease in dexterity and judgment.
  • Loss of memory, increased excitability.

Depth: 300-plus feet

  • Hallucinations.
  • Increased intensity of vision and hearing.
  • Sense of impending blackout euphoria, dizziness, manic or depressive states, a sense of levitation, disorganization of the sense of time, changes in facial appearance.
  • Unconsciousness.
  • Death.
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