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reactive
08-21-2008, 14:39
I was wondering if you guys could give me some insight to a problem I experienced. It seems like a typical sinus squeeze, but I was wondering how I could have prevented it, or better handle it in the future.

On August 1, I was passing through the area on my way to visit my mother so I decided to make a pit stop at CSSP. It was a beautiful day, the water felt great and the park was mostly vacant and the visibility was around 20 feet. I couldn't have asked for more. I was personally feeling great. I was well hydrated and my sinuses (at least I assumed) were clear. I could breathe without any restriction from both nostrils and I had no allergies or anything to lead me to believe there was any sinus blockage in my head.

We started our decent over the shark and as soon as I got down to around 12 feet, I felt a very prominent dull pain behind my left eye. I hung out at that depth for a a minute or so to see if the pain would pass. I signaled to my dive buddy by pointing at my ear, followed by a thumbs up and we made an accent. I told him what I was experiencing and he asked if I wanted to call the dive. I told him that my ears were perfect, I had no problem clearing, it was just this pain behind my eye. So after about a 5 minute break sitting at the surface revising our plan, I tried to descend again. This time I got to about 15 feet and the pain came back. I sat at 15 feet for about a minute, and the pain started to relieve itself slightly. At that point, I descended a little further to about 25 feet (right above the thermocline). At this point, i was able to swim around pretty comfortably. There was some remnant pain, but it wasn't like what I had experienced the first time. we checked out the shark and got bored with it relatively quickly so we decided to go check out the sunken boat. We made a safe and normal ascent and swam on the surface over to the next bouy where the boats are. We made a game plan on the surface and started our descent. This time, right around 10 or so feet, the pain came back. This time it was much worse than before and I experienced it behind both eyes. It was so bad this time, that I called the dive. For the rest of the day I had a horrible headache and felt like I wanted to pop out my eyes to relieve the pain.

I realize that my first mistake and potentially the most dangerous mistake was to push myself beyond my means and experience by not calling the dive when I first felt the pain. I felt bad because it was a big deal because of all the trouble we had finding the place to jump in the water for 3 mintues and turn around a leave. It was stupid and my lesson is learned.

My question though is, how can I prevent such pain behind my eye like this to begin with? Especially when I felt absolutely fine all that day before the dive. I was well hydrated and felt no blockage. I almost feel nervous to plan another dive trip in case this happens again and I've wasted time and money of me and my dive buddy. Now I will say, that my dive buddy didn't pressure me to continue at all. He asked over and over again if I wanted to call it off, but it was me that persisted. I normally take a sudefed about an hour before I dive regardless of how I'm feeling. This time I didn't have any on hand and I didn't take any.

Have any of you experienced this before? Is this something that will affect future diving or was it possibly just a fluke?

Thanks for all your time and input regarding my issue.

-Adam

timc
08-21-2008, 14:59
I suggest you have yourself checked out by a physician just to be safe. When I was new to diving I had a pretty bad mask squeeze that I could not equalize soon enough before it broke some blood vessels in my eyes. I went to have it checked out and he said any time I have lingering or recurrent pain in the eyes from a diving incident to come back in to be checked out.

reactive
08-21-2008, 15:04
I agree. I don't have any kind of medical insurance at the moment, so I've been reluctant to see a physician. Also, to clarify, this was not a mask squeeze or an ear squeeze. I was able to equalize perfectly fine. I even flooded my mask at one point and cleared it to be certain. I also wanted to add, that this was my 12th dive. Currently to date, this is the only pressure problem that I have experienced. I've been as deep as 50 ffw and have made several dives to 20 fsw with no problems what so ever.

thecheeseman
08-21-2008, 15:21
Are you a dan member? You might want to call them.

Sorry, i don't have any good ideas other than sinus squeeze. That sure is strange.

Best of luck.

You might want to look up Ocular decompression sickness, though. But it's been 20 days already.

You could read this forum as well Pain behind eye on accent - ScubaBoard (http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/diving-medicine/14644-pain-behind-eye-accent.html)

Rileybri
08-21-2008, 15:26
Are you married? I know I get the same feeling when my wife askes me for money or says "ya know we have allot of packing to do!" :smilie39:


:smilie40:

reactive
08-21-2008, 15:39
Are you a dan member? You might want to call them.

Sorry, i don't have any good ideas other than sinus squeeze. That sure is strange.

Best of luck.

You might want to look up Ocular decompression sickness, though. But it's been 20 days already.

You could read this forum as well Pain behind eye on accent - ScubaBoard (http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/diving-medicine/14644-pain-behind-eye-accent.html)

I'm not a DAN member..... yet. I've been trying to get some primary medical insurance before I get any kind of secondary insurance. I haven't called them yet either because I dismissed it as a sinus squeeze. I was just wondering if anyone shared my experience and what measures they've taken to prevent it from happening in the future.


Are you married? I know I get the same feeling when my wife askes me for money or says "ya know we have allot of packing to do!" :smilie39:


:smilie40:

LOL :smilie39::smilie39::smilie39:

matt151617
08-21-2008, 16:23
DAN should still covers you though, even if you don't have primary insurance (of course only if you are a member). They did for me, at least, when I had my ear barotrauma. I'd get their insurance asap if you intend to keep diving.

If you don't want to pay to see a doctor, treat it like any other condition... if it gets worse, then go to the doctor, if it gets better, then don't worry about it. Not the best approach for anything, but probably your best choice if you don't have insurance. For reference, when I hurt my ear... $70 to see my doctor, who referred me to an ENT, and then $110 for the ENT to look in my ear and say "everything looks fine, you can dive again".

reactive
08-21-2008, 16:30
DAN should still covers you though, even if you don't have primary insurance (of course only if you are a member). They did for me, at least, when I had my ear barotrauma. I'd get their insurance asap if you intend to keep diving.

If you don't want to pay to see a doctor, treat it like any other condition... if it gets worse, then go to the doctor, if it gets better, then don't worry about it. Not the best approach for anything, but probably your best choice if you don't have insurance. For reference, when I hurt my ear... $70 to see my doctor, who referred me to an ENT, and then $110 for the ENT to look in my ear and say "everything looks fine, you can dive again".

That's pretty much how I've handled this. I had no more remnant pain on the following day after I experienced the initial pain. I didn't realize that DAN would cover the diving incident if I didn't have primary insurance. Good to know.

Aussie
08-21-2008, 20:40
I have experienced this problem a few times and the best way to discribe the feeling I get is to imagine a rod hot poker rod going through your eye. Its just a sinus squeeze and anti-sinus medication helps alot. Actually alot of professional divers I know eat sudafed tablets like lollies. Thats not recommended but if you get this problem often I recommend you ask your doctor about taking this medication.

Cheers Mark

dental121
09-24-2008, 05:01
If you get this problem often I recommend you ask your doctor about taking this medication.

Quero
09-24-2008, 07:53
It does sound like sinus squeeze. I've worked with a number of divers who've experienced sinus squeezes, but generally it shows up as a bit of blood in the mask, with no pain, rather than pain behind the eyes.

But anyway.... what has worked for many of my divers with this problem is a simple variation on equalization techniques. It may or may not work for you, but it's worth a try! When you are clearing, try to change the shape of your sinuses and nasal passages by pressing on the roof of your mouth with your tongue. There's something about the position, or the muscles straining, or something that seems to open up a tiny bit more space in the ostia between the sinus cavities and the nasal passages.

With any luck, this will help prevent a sinus squeeze from putting an end to your dive.

Brian Sharpe
09-25-2008, 09:55
I realize that my first mistake and potentially the most dangerous mistake was to push myself beyond my means and experience by not calling the dive when I first felt the pain. I felt bad because it was a big deal because of all the trouble we had finding the place to jump in the water for 3 mintues and turn around a leave. It was stupid and my lesson is learned.
-Adam

Don't ever feel bad about calling a dive for any reason. If you're in pain or just not feeling good about the dive thumb it - there's always another day to dive.