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A diver uses a depth gauge with decompression tables and a watch to avoid decompression sickness. A common alternative to the depth gauge, watch and decompression tables is a dive computer. A depth gauge and an oxygen analyser/oxygen sensor can be used to measure the partial pressure of oxygen of the breathing gas, which is necessary to avoid oxygen toxicity.
Digital depth gauges commonly also include a timer showing the interval of time that the diver has been submerged. Some show the diver's rate of ascent and descent, which can be is useful for avoiding barotrauma.
As the gauge only measures water pressure, there is an inherent inaccuracy in the depth displayed by gauges that are used in both fresh water and seawater due to the difference in the densities of fresh water and seawater.