View Full Version : Alavert And Equalization

03-18-2008, 18:17
Me and my fiancee were recently PADI certified. During the last day of our open water dives, the pollen was especially thick out so we took plain 12 hour Alavert about 2 hours prior to help alleviate our symptoms. Alavert is strictly an anti-histamine and does not contain any kind of decongestant, yet both of us had a lot of trouble with keeping our ears equalized.

During our training, we were warned about using sinus medication that contain decongestants, but they didn't really make it seem like it included anti-histamines. Since we haven't logged that many dives yet I wanted to see if anyone else had issues with plain anti-histamines like Alavert or Benadryl. We didn't have any reverse blockage issues, just felt like my hand was on my nose more often than not.

03-18-2008, 18:41
For most diving, Alavert will be okay. Keep in mind it does have a neurostimulation effectas well so if you are EAN diving you are more susceptable to Ox-Tox. It also has a bit of a risk of increasing your risk to dehydaration so additional fluid hydration is also in order.

03-18-2008, 19:49
no plans on EAN until we get a little more experience. very good to keep in mind though, thanks!

03-19-2008, 01:29
Not that I'm suggesting you do this since as you say it's somewhat officially discouraged, but maybe you had problems not from taking the antihistamine, but because you actually needed a decongestant? Truth is some people do use decongestants when diving. Aside from concerns about various medications which you should be aware of, you need to know how things affect you. Like even if Benadryl is supposed to be ok (I'm not even sure) I personally wouldn't use it while diving since I know it pretty much knocks me unconcious.

Or maybe you just needed to take the Alavert sooner. If your sinuses and tubes were already upset about the pollen, they might not have been completely happy again 2 hours after taking it and diving can irritate things more.

03-19-2008, 07:14
Damsel, I agree with you about getting knocked out by Benadryl.. in fact even Tylonal puts me to sleep.. ugh :( It's bad!

03-19-2008, 08:55
I guess if our allergies are stirred up again around our next dive, we'll try taking the medication closer to before the dive. If we still have issues then we'll restort to the decongestants since those can knock out Osprey pretty easily too.

03-19-2008, 15:31
For sinus problems, allergies included, you may also want to try NeilMed's Sinus Rinse... It sounds terrible, and does take some getting used to, but it helps a lot with keeping sinuses clear over the long haul... Someone here recommended it to me (sorry I forgot who) & I've been hooked on it ever since. Even my allergies are not nearly as bad as before...

03-23-2008, 15:00
Claritin D works very well, and is time released so you don't have to worry about it wearing off during a dive. It does contain pseudoephedrine though, and some people don't like taking that.

03-23-2008, 15:45
For sinus problems, allergies included, you may also want to try NeilMed's Sinus Rinse... It sounds terrible, and does take some getting used to, but it helps a lot with keeping sinuses clear over the long haul...

I have tried it and to be honest I can't tell a difference. It's really tame as far as how it's done. If you think it's bad consider this.

Our ENT suggested an attachment to our water pick, basically you fill the tank of the water pick up with the mix and then put this into one side of your nose and do the same thing, only difference is the machine does the work for you and the amounts. You'll squirt about a quart of the mix through the sinuses. I've noticed many times that after about a pint or so all of a sudden snot breaks loose and you'll squirt out a goober, then it's back to the mix. Switch sides and repeat.

All told, the amount in Neilmed is but a drop in the bucket compared to what the ENT suggested for amounts, so I can almost inhale the NeilMed amount without blinking an eye. However, neither really do a thing for me or the wife.

In fact, my wife just had an MRI of the skull done (for other reasons) and the tech said, did you know you have sinus problems? As if she didn't know... The MRI is more detailed than the CT Scan she had done specifically for the sinuses and so we'll forward the MRI on so the ENT can get a better look.

Sometimes you can't fix what mother nature didn't build right in the first place.

03-23-2008, 21:37
My fiancee actually uses a preservative free saline rinse every now and then when there's a lot of pollen in the air and it hasn't really done much. But it could just be because she's not doing it regularly too. We do seem to have better luck with pseudoephedrine so I'll suggest the Claritin D.