Signs and symptoms include paralysis, shock, weakness, dizziness. numbness, tingling, difficulty breathing, and varying degrees of joint and limb pain. In the most severe cases, unconsciousness and death can result.

Decompression sickness can also manifest subtly. Symptoms can include a mild to moderate dull ache, usually but not necessarily in the joints, mild to moderate tingling or numbness, usually, but not necessarily, in the limbs. Weakness and prolonged fatigue may result from DC'S. Decompression sickness symptoms can occur together or individually, occur anywhere in the body, and may be accompanied by lightheadedness.

Symptoms usually occur anywhere from 15 minutes to 12 hours after a dive, though they can occur later. They tend to come on gradually and persist, though they can be intermittent. Regardless of the severity of the symptoms. consider all cases of decompression sickness serious.

Lung over expansion injuries and decompression sickness can produce very similar signs and symptoms, even though they result from two different causes (holding the breath versus exceeding time and depth limits). The dive medical community lumps DCS and lung overexpansion in, jury under the clinical term decompression illness (DCI). They do this because the first aid and treatment are identical for both, and there's no need to distinguish between them when assisting a diver.