PDA

View Full Version : Vertigo during Ascent?



ndv21
05-04-2009, 14:49
For some reason this issue is sometimes present and sometimes not. Most of the time, I do experience a little bit of vertigo during a dive but it alwas happens during an ascent. It is very small and it never lasts for more that 5-10 seconds. This has happened while diving with and without a hood and I usually have no problems equalizing. I tend to descend rather quickly with no equalization problems as I equalize every 5 ft or so. Any ideas on what might be the cause or any possible solution?

navyhmc
05-04-2009, 15:14
First thing to try is slow down your descent to around 30-40 fpm and slow your ascent to 20-30 fpm. Also, what is your position as you ascend? While you don't notice any problems with pressure equalization in your ears, your inner ear and especially your Semi=circular canals which are your main source of position input for your brain.

A lot folk folks who ascend vertically and are lookng straight up seem to have more or a problem than those who ascend at an angle or near horizontal.

ndv21
05-04-2009, 15:32
A lot folk folks who ascend vertically and are lookng straight up seem to have more or a problem than those who ascend at an angle or near horizontal.

I usually ascend at an angle. But the problem is really during just a change of depth. ie:

I am playing around at about 50 ft. and I see something moving around at 45 ft. and decide to explore. Without rushing to it by ascending too fast, i just breathe deep and gently float up horizontally. That will cause a little vertigo. Its not such a major problem but I want to know if it can escalate. I always let my buddy know of this before the dive just for them to be aware.

PvtStash
05-05-2009, 02:20
I usually ascend at an angle. But the problem is really during just a change of depth. ie:

I am playing around at about 50 ft. and I see something moving around at 45 ft. and decide to explore. Without rushing to it by ascending too fast, i just breathe deep and gently float up horizontally. That will cause a little vertigo. Its not such a major problem but I want to know if it can escalate. I always let my buddy know of this before the dive just for them to be aware.


not too often , but often enough to be mildly concerned... its not a good feeling... I dont think I'm about to pass out, but I do feel my head swim a bit coupled with maybe a hint of a nauseaous feeling... I don' like it... , luckily it passes in maybe 15 seconds... I stay realatively horizontal and dont believe I'm ascending/descending too rapidly...

fire diver
05-05-2009, 11:47
I have had vertigo only once, but it wasn't mild. It was on ascent about 60 feet. I went from 100% normal to completely F-ed up in a second. Don't know how long it lasted, felt like forever but I think it was only a few seconds. What I have learned since then is that you can be doing everything right and still get hit. It's caused by the inner-ear not equalizing equally and quick enough.

Since you know that you have a recurring issue with this, just keep it in mind and try to slow down your ascent even more than the recommended rate to help out.

crosseyed95
05-05-2009, 18:44
I usually get vertigo 10 to 15 times a year. The only thing that seems to help is taking sudafed prior to diving. I've noticed that I'm more likely to have a problem when the old sinuses are acting up. Course, this makes perfect sense.

I've also learned to read my body very well during dives and I can pretty much predict when I'm going to get hit. This allows me to stop what I'm doing and let it pass. Usually it only takes about 5 seconds.

I've spoken with many divers about this and I've found that those who get vertigo get it, while many others have never had a case of it. Similiar to the fact that some have problem equalizing while descending while others never have a problem. Personally, I'll take the vertigo over trouble equalizing since I've seen many struggle with this problem.

Hope this helps and you aren't alone.

crosseyed95

gee
05-05-2009, 20:17
I have experienced vertigo underwater a couple of times. It is similar to the way you describe it in that it was mild and brief. For me, it signaled the beginning of an ear infection.

For some reason this issue is sometimes present and sometimes not. Most of the time, I do experience a little bit of vertigo during a dive but it alwas happens during an ascent. It is very small and it never lasts for more that 5-10 seconds. This has happened while diving with and without a hood and I usually have no problems equalizing. I tend to descend rather quickly with no equalization problems as I equalize every 5 ft or so. Any ideas on what might be the cause or any possible solution?

ndv21
05-05-2009, 23:21
Interesting about the ear infection. I have been diving actively for the past 3 yrs and I have never had an ear infection. I always clean out my ears with qtips after a day of diving then flush them with swim ear. Maybe that helps keep it away.
I have experienced vertigo underwater a couple of times. It is similar to the way you describe it in that it was mild and brief. For me, it signaled the beginning of an ear infection.

For some reason this issue is sometimes present and sometimes not. Most of the time, I do experience a little bit of vertigo during a dive but it alwas happens during an ascent. It is very small and it never lasts for more that 5-10 seconds. This has happened while diving with and without a hood and I usually have no problems equalizing. I tend to descend rather quickly with no equalization problems as I equalize every 5 ft or so. Any ideas on what might be the cause or any possible solution?

USF_Diver
05-06-2009, 09:55
Only time I got vertigo was on a dive before my dive light it was very dark conditions and I got dizzy, didn't last but 5 seconds at the very most but that was not fun at all.

Like others have said I would go alot slower on your ascent and maybe try to be more vertical than at a angle when going up any.

gee
05-06-2009, 15:18
Agreed ncv21. Since that episode, I have been proactive with taking care of the ears especially after diving by rinsing with alcohol & vinegar.
Interesting about the ear infection. I have been diving actively for the past 3 yrs and I have never had an ear infection. I always clean out my ears with qtips after a day of diving then flush them with swim ear. Maybe that helps keep it away.

boates
05-09-2009, 15:58
"I am playing around at about 50 ft. and I see something moving around at 45 ft. and decide to explore. Without rushing to it by ascending too fast, i just breathe deep and gently float up horizontally. "

Just a thought, what if you were to continuously gently exhale the deep breath during ascent?

Crimediver
05-12-2009, 06:45
A common cause of vertigo occurs when water of two different temperatures are introduced into the ear canals. This can often occur when passing through a thermocline. The brain interprets the difference of in temperatures in the ears and sends signals to the brain which can affect balance and give the sensation of spinning or disorientation. A tight fitting hood can contribute to water of different temperatures to entering the ear canals at different times. The position of the head can also contribute to this.
If you get vertigo when wearing a hood pull the neoprene away from your ears and allow the water to swish around to get the water of the same temperature in the ear canals.
While not pleasant vertigo can be made to subside fairly quickly. If there is something to hold onto such as an anchor line or buddy it will help to maintain orientation. Don't panic and just enjoy the ride. It will pass pretty quickly.

Gene_Hobbs
05-21-2009, 08:48
Sounds like alternobaric vertigo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternobaric_vertigo) to me...

SCwes
08-31-2009, 14:47
Yes me too, and yes it will get your attention quick. I have a lot of dives logged and a lot that arent. My vertigo happened after a very physical job on the surface then a dive to @ 30' to pick up equipment. After picking up equipment from the bottom and starting up (I always watch my tinest bubbles to judge rate) it hit. I've been in all types of dive cond. and have always been very comfortable in them so this helped a ton not to panic. I just feel back on training of Stop, breath, think and continuned to focus on my bubbles till it pasted, then real slow made made accent. Yes I did have a small about of congestion that morning.

urdiving
10-18-2009, 02:40
Only time I had vertigo was in the caverns where you depend on your flashlight and reels for sense of direction. Only one time the currents were bad on a dive really bad that I did not have a sense of up or down and got a little dizzy. I think it was due to the fact being about 85 to 100 feet and the current moving too fast downward and spinning us around in the dark. Try slowing it down its never a race to the bottom or top it will always be there and you wont miss out on any action promise!

musicpeacemaker
11-07-2009, 21:38
For some reason this issue is sometimes present and sometimes not. Most of the time, I do experience a little bit of vertigo during a dive but it alwas happens during an ascent. It is very small and it never lasts for more that 5-10 seconds. This has happened while diving with and without a hood and I usually have no problems equalizing. I tend to descend rather quickly with no equalization problems as I equalize every 5 ft or so. Any ideas on what might be the cause or any possible solution?Thats a good question I seem to have the same problem. I ascend feet first and I start my equalizing the minute I go bellow the surface. Still I have a little trouble equalizing and eventually my ear equalizes. What do u do when you do have equalizing?

navyhmc
11-07-2009, 23:33
Thats a good question I seem to have the same problem. I ascend feet first and I start my equalizing the minute I go below the surface. Still I have a little trouble equalizing and eventually my ear equalizes. What do u do when you do have equalizing?

Well, for starters, I would descend feet first and ascend head first...:smiley36: sorry, couldn't help it.

Slow descent is your best bet in that case. There are a lot of different ways to equalize, maybe try another method or combine methods.

This thread may help: http://forum.scubatoys.com/open-water-diver/3789-clearing-ear-methods.html especially reply #29 by

And this one: http://forum.scubatoys.com/scuba-stories-comments-questions-dont-fit-elsewhere/7305-equalizing-ears.html

And finally, a few methods: Prevention of Middle Ear Barotrauma (http://faculty.washington.edu/ekay/MEbaro.html)

Hope it helps.

And welomce to the forum!

musicpeacemaker
11-08-2009, 12:06
A lot folk folks who ascend vertically and are lookng straight up seem to have more or a problem than those who ascend at an angle or near horizontal.

I usually ascend at an angle. But the problem is really during just a change of depth. ie:

I am playing around at about 50 ft. and I see something moving around at 45 ft. and decide to explore. Without rushing to it by ascending too fast, i just breathe deep and gently float up horizontally. That will cause a little vertigo. Its not such a major problem but I want to know if it can escalate. I always let my buddy know of this before the dive just for them to be aware.
I notice more of the vertigo decending rather than acsending.

DivingCRNA
11-08-2009, 12:42
I get vertigo on ascent a lot. I am horizontal and ascending slowly wearing a hood. I just know it happens and wait for it to pass. Since it is familiar now, it does not freak me out.

musicpeacemaker
11-11-2009, 18:37
Seems alot of you have the vertigo during ascent. I have the problem descending thats when it hits me

Grin
11-12-2009, 09:41
Mine has been only on accent also. I found when I got a new suit the hood was tight, and that is when I had the issues. Happened with two suits with attached hoods. I popped little holes in the hood around my ears and it helped alot. I still have had it happen on occassion though. Like others said just stop your accent and chill for a second until it stops, then proceed slowly. I have tryed pulling my hood seal to my ears when it happens, and tryed clearing etc.. but it seems to not work. Just wait and proceed slow. Try to focus on your computer or something other than starring out into nothing land.
It's a ear thing. Probably one ear is releasing pressure upon accent more easily than the other.

musicpeacemaker
11-14-2009, 20:26
Mine has been only on accent also. I found when I got a new suit the hood was tight, and that is when I had the issues. Happened with two suits with attached hoods. I popped little holes in the hood around my ears and it helped alot. I still have had it happen on occassion though. Like others said just stop your accent and chill for a second until it stops, then proceed slowly. I have tryed pulling my hood seal to my ears when it happens, and tryed clearing etc.. but it seems to not work. Just wait and proceed slow. Try to focus on your computer or something other than starring out into nothing land.
It's a ear thing. Probably one ear is releasing pressure upon accent more easily than the other.
It seems to happen to me when I descend not ascending with me I do the equalization with my ears. But it pops one ear does and not the other one. It took a few seconds and I had vertigo than I tried again to equalize finally got better. Just scared the bejezzus outta me.

navyhmc
11-14-2009, 20:43
Mine has been only on accent also. I found when I got a new suit the hood was tight, and that is when I had the issues. Happened with two suits with attached hoods. I popped little holes in the hood around my ears and it helped alot. I still have had it happen on occassion though. Like others said just stop your accent and chill for a second until it stops, then proceed slowly. I have tryed pulling my hood seal to my ears when it happens, and tryed clearing etc.. but it seems to not work. Just wait and proceed slow. Try to focus on your computer or something other than starring out into nothing land.
It's a ear thing. Probably one ear is releasing pressure upon accent more easily than the other.
It seems to happen to me when I descend not ascending with me I do the equalization with my ears. But it pops one ear does and not the other one. It took a few seconds and I had vertigo than I tried again to equalize finally got better. Just scared the bejezzus outta me.

Yeah, ears are fickle that way! I find that when that happens, I do the nose hold and blow as if I'm descending. That equalizes the ears albeit at a higher pressure, but it solves the vertigo when that happens.

phil_218
02-09-2010, 09:54
I took this online seminar offered by DAN a while back and I believe it goes over this issue, if I remember correctly. Either way, its worth the time to review it.

Click this link (https://www.diversalertnetwork.org/training/seminars/seminars.aspx) and scroll down to "Ears and Diving" seminar at the bottom of the list. You do need to be a DAN member to view it, so if you're not already a member (and you should be) just sign up and you'll have access.

Splitlip
02-09-2010, 10:49
A common cause of vertigo occurs when water of two different temperatures are introduced into the ear canals. This can often occur when passing through a thermocline. The brain interprets the difference of in temperatures in the ears and sends signals to the brain which can affect balance and give the sensation of spinning or disorientation. A tight fitting hood can contribute to water of different temperatures to entering the ear canals at different times. The position of the head can also contribute to this.
If you get vertigo when wearing a hood pull the neoprene away from your ears and allow the water to swish around to get the water of the same temperature in the ear canals.
While not pleasant vertigo can be made to subside fairly quickly. If there is something to hold onto such as an anchor line or buddy it will help to maintain orientation. Don't panic and just enjoy the ride. It will pass pretty quickly.

I've had it a few times. Usually with a hood.

Thanks for the tips!

Splitlip
02-09-2010, 10:52
Probably one ear is releasing pressure upon accent more easily than the other.

That was always my assumption, but I think the temp thing makes sense as well as I never felt any pressure or dicomfort in my ears.

good tip on focusing "small".

emtdiver
03-19-2010, 00:38
I have an issue with vertigo as well. It actually happened allot to me until I figured out a couple of things that helped. 1st staying vertical during accents, 2nd equalizing often of course, 3rd keeping a landmark in view. My problem was not with equalization per say & might not be with you. I don't know if you've heard of Blue Orb Syndrome (not talking about the psychological/anxiety part-problem). Blue Orb syndrome happens when you're out in open water could be a quarry, ocean anywhere you can't see landmarks or the bottom & you become disoriented. I get that vertigo feeling & nausea from it. I thought something was wrong with me until I researched it & came accross it in an article in that monthly Dive Trainer magazine at my LDS. Now some say it's a psychological problem but the magazines i've read said nothing about that. Some of the online info will discuss it. I look around to find something to focus on during my accents. Even the stripes on a rope can help. I try to acsend near walls because most of my diving is at quarries. This may not necessarily be your problem but it might be something to look into. It usually last for a very short period of time. Just my 2 cents. Good Luck!

Jack Hammer
03-19-2010, 18:21
emtdiver, I used to get a little disorientated during free ascents in low vis, on night dives, or even worse on low vis dives at night until I learned to watch the particulate in the water while keeping the other eye on my depth and paying attention to the pressure felt at my ears (more = sinking, less = rising). Particals have probably helped me the most because they are something I can focus on. If you don't see any in open water and it's daytime, try using a dive light, many times you'll get some reflection off them from the light.

PhD4JC
03-21-2010, 07:27
When you say [quote=
I've also learned to read my body very well during dives and I can pretty much predict when I'm going to get hit. This allows me to stop what I'm doing and let it pass. Usually it only takes about 5 seconds.
crosseyed95[/quote]

how do you know?
What pre-vertigo symptoms do you get?


I only had it once (thankfully) approaching a safety stop in my 1st 10 dives.

It was VERY scary. I felt like I was going to pass out. Everything was swimming like "wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee". I wanted to close my eyes and drift off, but I was fighting to stay focused. I grabbed the anchor line and it passed. I felt like a long time, but probably was not.

Glad it has not happened again.