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View Full Version : When to See An ENT Doc



matt151617
05-10-2008, 13:50
When should I throw in the towel and see a doctor? Last class, we were sitting on the bottom of a 7ft pool. I tried every method of equalizing before class, did it on the surface of the water, and did going underwater. Still had slight pain at 7ft, and couldn't get rid of it.

Next day after class, I was getting bad ear pains with tiny altitute changes while driving. One ear felt a little better after a couple hours, and a little water came out.

Should I go see an ENT doctor, or chalk it up to inexperience with equalizing properly? I always have problems with my ears on airplanes too.

reactive
05-10-2008, 14:12
I would go see the ENT.

ratown
05-10-2008, 14:41
I would see a doctor. That is weird to get all messed up at 7'. I have posted this before, but a friend of mine had a lot of problems equalizing and the day after certification she went to the doctor and found out she had two ear infections. I wouldn't mess with that stuff. Go see a doctor.

What methods are you using to equalize?

Charles R
05-10-2008, 14:43
Don't mess with it see the ENT and also don't try to equalize to hard as that can cause severe damage as well.

reactive
05-10-2008, 14:54
check this video out too:
Doc's Diving Medicine Home Page (http://faculty.washington.edu/ekay/)

spatman
05-10-2008, 15:58
your ears are not something you want to mess with. if you're having problems at 7' in a pool it will be a lot worse in deeper water.

go see a doctor.

matt151617
05-10-2008, 22:37
I watched that video, and I've read up, and tried all the equalization techniques (there's like 10 or so of them). My checkout dive is scheduled for May 31st, but I think I'll have to tell my instructor I'm having ear problems and may not be able to do it then.

Penguino
05-10-2008, 23:18
Yeah, another vote here for the doctor. You don't want to permanently damage your ears which is quite possible if you are having problems at such shallow depths. Its just not worth it.

cummings66
05-12-2008, 07:15
I've experienced problems as shallow as 5 feet, it really doesn't take much to start telling you things are not right. By 10 feet you know it's wrong and it starts physically hurting if you try to go much deeper.

If you're starting early on the surface and have problems then yes I do believe an ENT is the way to go because there may be a cure. The only real thing I could tell you is quite often in a new diver it's a matter of technique, and nobody outside of you can actually feel if you're doing it right or not. The video link posted showed him watching a diver and telling the diver they're not doing it hard enough, he watched the nose to see how the fleshy part expanded and based his conclusion on that.

caroln
05-12-2008, 10:27
I would go see the ENT immediately, but I would ask DAN for a recommendation for an ENT in your area and go to him rather than just any random doc.

Stacio
05-12-2008, 10:51
:listen: I was having some problems equalizing too, it was a very slow and somewhat painful process. I went to see the doctor and he advised me that I have cronic svear allergies. They put me on some steroid therapy, nasal spray with a steroid in it and Rx antihistamine and decongestant. Did my open water this weekend and everything worked wonderfully. Equalizing was still a little slow, but I was able to do it and without pain!! Ofcourse, get some alcohol or something to put in your ear after each dive to dry it out.

mselizann
05-12-2008, 12:54
I see a ENT Dr. who is a diver! He knew exactly what I needed- a daily nasal spray w/ steroid, take a 12 hr sudafed on the morning of diving- and Afrin right before diving

I feel so much better now-

Grizbear98
05-12-2008, 13:37
I had never really had bad ear problems before until I tried diving with clogged sinuses in Belize, I had to literally equalize with every breath I took in or about once every foot. This helped, but it was annoying. But I would see a doctor if you're already doing something similar to that, ears are nothing to mess with

caroln
05-12-2008, 16:18
I see a ENT Dr. who is a diver! He knew exactly what I needed- a daily nasal spray w/ steroid, take a 12 hr sudafed on the morning of diving- and Afrin right before diving

I feel so much better now-

Be careful of doing this if you are diving nitrox or mixes with higher ppO2. There has been some speculation that some of the OTC decongestants and Afrin in particular can cause you to be more susceptible to an o2 hit.

CompuDude
05-12-2008, 19:51
I would go see the ENT immediately, but I would ask DAN for a recommendation for an ENT in your area and go to him rather than just any random doc.

Agreed.

mselizann
05-12-2008, 20:06
I see a ENT Dr. who is a diver! He knew exactly what I needed- a daily nasal spray w/ steroid, take a 12 hr sudafed on the morning of diving- and Afrin right before diving

I feel so much better now-

Be careful of doing this if you are diving nitrox or mixes with higher ppO2. There has been some speculation that some of the OTC decongestants and Afrin in particular can cause you to be more susceptible to an o2 hit.


I don't....but thank you for the warning

aaronle06
05-13-2008, 21:45
I had trouble with my sinuses and I thought it was a equalizing problem. I got pressure headaches above my eyes and I tried to do something about it from benadryl, to 12hr suddefed and when I dive I just suck it up and go down until the pressure subsides. In my open water class the DI said that air will find a way to move around. if you aren't well versed in diving and need an explanation in an IT sense, "Air will find the path of least resistance." So, for me it just goes somewhere. I haven't tried diving past 26-30 ft yet, so I don't know the risks and dangers of deeper waters.

matt151617
05-13-2008, 23:38
Insurance would be the problem, of finding a doctor that took the insurance, so the chances that he would be DAN approved won't be as great. Plus, I'd like to go asap, especially if it's an infection. I'm going to talk to my instructor outside of class and see if he can give supervise my equalization technique.

Zatharas
05-14-2008, 00:28
I had trouble with my sinuses and I thought it was a equalizing problem. I got pressure headaches above my eyes and I tried to do something about it from benadryl, to 12hr suddefed and when I dive I just suck it up and go down until the pressure subsides. In my open water class the DI said that air will find a way to move around. if you aren't well versed in diving and need an explanation in an IT sense, "Air will find the path of least resistance." So, for me it just goes somewhere. I haven't tried diving past 26-30 ft yet, so I don't know the risks and dangers of deeper waters.

aaronle06 be careful with the whole using decongestants before diving, you do not want to make it a habit. In addition, if you are having consistent sinus problems you should consult a doctor about it. Air in the sinus can find its way into your ears and blow your eardrums out, I am not fully versed on how this happens but if the air does not leave your sinuses via your nose or mouth, it will leave via your ears.

matt151617
Yet another vote for going to see a doctor and good luck with the whole matching your insurance with a good doctor.

aaronle06
05-14-2008, 00:50
I had trouble with my sinuses and I thought it was a equalizing problem. I got pressure headaches above my eyes and I tried to do something about it from benadryl, to 12hr suddefed and when I dive I just suck it up and go down until the pressure subsides. In my open water class the DI said that air will find a way to move around. if you aren't well versed in diving and need an explanation in an IT sense, "Air will find the path of least resistance." So, for me it just goes somewhere. I haven't tried diving past 26-30 ft yet, so I don't know the risks and dangers of deeper waters.

aaronle06 be careful with the whole using decongestants before diving, you do not want to make it a habit. In addition, if you are having consistent sinus problems you should consult a doctor about it. Air in the sinus can find its way into your ears and blow your eardrums out, I am not fully versed on how this happens but if the air does not leave your sinuses via your nose or mouth, it will leave via your ears.

matt151617
Yet another vote for going to see a doctor and good luck with the whole matching your insurance with a good doctor.

I don't dive anymore when using meds. I didn't post that I used days prior to diving to get rid of bad allergies. I don't get allergies often so I don't think that it will be a problem. Also, do you know where I can get information on the air pressure in sinuses blowing out ear drums. I'm not saying that its not going to happen or unbelieving your side, I just want to know the facts and not risk anything in the near future.

Zatharas
05-14-2008, 01:37
aaronle06, sorry about that, did not mean to imply that you were doing that on a regular basis, I worded that post poorly.

It has been years since I studied this stuff, I will look through my materials, when I find a good source and if I remember, I will post it. In any case, the relationship between a sinus blockage and eardrum rupture is via the Eustachian tube. I maybe wrong about this but, my understanding is an eardrum rupture can occur when a sinus blockage shifts and blocks the Eustachian tube and/or swelling due to the sinus infection blocks Eustachian tube. This blockage of the Eustachian tube helps to increase or decrease the pressure in the Eustachian tube adding stress on the eardrum increasing the chance of rupture.

matt151617
05-19-2008, 12:07
Lost my medical insurance, so I can't see a doc, but as it turns out, it was bad technique.

I took a couple of non-drowsy Sutafed, and once I needed to equalize, I grabbed my ear lobe and pulled it up/down and left/right, all over. That did it!

huvrr
05-19-2008, 12:16
thats a new one on me, pulling on your ears is not exactly the valsalva maneuver.

matt151617
05-19-2008, 12:22
thats a new one on me, pulling on your ears is not exactly the valsalva maneuver.

Apparently it stretches your tubes out. My instructor said he's been doing it on people in the class for years, and he's never found someone it doesn't work on. So anyone that has trouble equalizing, give this a shot!

CompuDude
05-20-2008, 00:02
thats a new one on me, pulling on your ears is not exactly the valsalva maneuver.

Apparently it stretches your tubes out. My instructor said he's been doing it on people in the class for years, and he's never found someone it doesn't work on. So anyone that has trouble equalizing, give this a shot!

Correct. There are lots of ear-clearing techniques other than valsalva's, including a number of combination techniques. Anything that stretches the Eustachian tubes out a bit makes the Valsava easier, including tugging the ear lobes, and even tilting your neck from one side or the other. For people, this simple stretch is all they need to clear their ears.

character157
06-25-2008, 10:37
When I am getting my gear together for a dive I like to chew a piece of gum...I read somewhere it helps get the tubes ready. I spit the gum out and put the reg...so far no trouble.