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gtjason2000
09-10-2007, 08:59
I started my divemaster internship and after the first day of ow class the major difficulty people seemed to have was breathing with their mask off. I learned to be able to do this so long ago with a snorkle and goggles I forgot how I did it so I have trouble making recommendations. Anyone have some recommendations I can give them because it is ok in the shallow end of the pool when they freak cause a little bit of water went up their nose but another thing when they are 20' below in a lake.

Illini_Fan
09-10-2007, 09:04
My OW instructor taught us to turn our head slightly so the exhaust bubbles from the reg would miss our nose. I still use that approach and it seems to work for me.

greyzen
09-10-2007, 09:10
My instructor just told us to breath in calmly through our mouths and out through our noses.

The water up the nose thing has never bothered me, but my wife is very sensitive to it. She handled it fine that way...

jwdizney
09-10-2007, 09:53
GT,
first of all, congrats on DM progress!

i'm an aspiring diver overcoming a MAJOR fear of water/drowning/etc.. and after my Discover Scuba class, I realized that the mask skills would probably be my biggest obstacle.. i've devised some of my own exercises that I have been using that are really helping me get comfortable with them... I have been practicing with a snorkel, and with a reg (under guidance of scuba wife in shallow water!!!) in fact, i've chronicled my journey in this thread:
http://forum.scubatoys.com/showthread.php?t=3237&highlight=jwdizney


I think even a 10-15 minutes of these exercises would go a long way in helping a person overcome the gasp and anxiety of breathing without a mask....


hope it helps!

tc_rain
09-10-2007, 22:30
I have heard that some instructors will have the student stand in the pool at the shallow end with their mask on and fill the mask with water from a cup.

PlatypusMan
09-10-2007, 22:43
I started my divemaster internship and after the first day of ow class the major difficulty people seemed to have was breathing with their mask off. I learned to be able to do this so long ago with a snorkle and goggles I forgot how I did it so I have trouble making recommendations. Anyone have some recommendations I can give them because it is ok in the shallow end of the pool when they freak cause a little bit of water went up their nose but another thing when they are 20' below in a lake.

Assuming that just putting their unprotected face into the water doesn't cause the problem (some folks freak when they get water on their face for some reason)...

Most people use an unconscious combination of mouth and nose breathing when out of water, so it's natural for them to continue the practice while IN the water, even with a sealed mask in place.

Watch them in the shallow end of the pool and you'll see something like this: each time they inhale through the regulator, the mask seems to move a bit closer to their face and then relax during exhalation. Mouth and nose in use.

Make them understand that you are not trying to get them to do anything their bodies cannot do naturally; explain the M&N stuff to them, and give them a chance to understand that it is possible to train yourself to breathe totally through the mouth alone. Think about the last fully stopped-up nose you had with a cold, for example--no problem breathing totally through the mouth then, right?

Then, when they take off the mask, have them exhale slowly while observing if any bubbles come from the nostrils. Get them to breathe slowly and gingerly at first until they get used to the new sensations they're experiencing.

I bet you'll have some mouth-breathers (in a GOOD sense) in short order.

danielh03
09-11-2007, 03:16
You know, I had the same problem, as did my wife. I just made it a matter of mind over matter. I want to dive so bad that I overcame it. My wife had to come to terms with it on her own. For 25 years it has bothered me, expecialy of chlorine was in the water. Now, just a little burn, thats if its really strong in the pool lol!

ScubaGir1
09-11-2007, 03:50
You could have them shut their eyes while wearing the mask, to sort of give the effect of breathing blind. Then slowly move from shallow to deep water with the mask off.

For our advanced class, our instructor had us take our mask off and swim around in a giant circle in the deep end (one student at a time). Everyone did fine. We all just swam with our arms stretched out so we wouldn't hit the walls lol.

TxHockeyGuy
09-11-2007, 10:45
My instructor just told us to breath in calmly through our mouths and out through our noses.

The water up the nose thing has never bothered me, but my wife is very sensitive to it. She handled it fine that way...

This technique helped me get through this, give it a try. I still don't like no mask breathing, but it isn't the dreadful event it used to be with me.

mm_dm
09-11-2007, 11:13
I started my divemaster internship and after the first day of ow class the major difficulty people seemed to have was breathing with their mask off. I learned to be able to do this so long ago with a snorkle and goggles I forgot how I did it so I have trouble making recommendations. Anyone have some recommendations I can give them because it is ok in the shallow end of the pool when they freak cause a little bit of water went up their nose but another thing when they are 20' below in a lake.


Mask clearing skills and breathing without a mask on seem to cause the most problems in class. Every, and I mean every diver I have done a refresher for, the one's who have been out of the water for some time, all struggled with reviewing mask clearing skills. With the students, you may have them go ahead an hold their nose and see if that helps, but it's something that they will have to wean themselves from. Sooner or later their mask will flood or it will get kicked off. It's not something everyone gets over...it may take some extra pool sessions or one on one with a DM in the shallow end while the rest of the class moves on. Once in a blue moon a student will quit class over it, but usually if you're patient with them, small amounts of water at a time, you can work them through it.
As someone above suggested, keeping their eyes closed helps others as well...maybe it helps them concentrate better.

Let us know how it goes. Good luck!

RonFrank
09-11-2007, 11:18
Mask skills seem to be one of the most difficult thing for some divers to overcome, and they are VERY important.

Here's a couple of things you can try. Have the student use a snorkel without the mask. You can allow them to use goggles if that helps especially for those that wear contacts.

Have the student breath with the reg, and use goggles rather than a mask. The idea is to get the nose in the water, but it maybe more relaxing for the student to have the ability to see.

If this is becomes a problem at depth one solution which I don't agree with, but could save a panicked diver is to have them pinch their nose. IMO this is NOT a solution, rather a measure that can be used if the situation is starting to get out of hand. One OW student (in fact two) used this approach to prevent a panic attack in a recent OW class at the BH.

I think anything that can put the diver at ease is a good idea, however IMO the students better spend some extra time in the pool until this skill is not only complete, but mastered. If you are at 80', and loose a mask you BETTER be able to calmly breath without a mask, and keep a clear head to do a controlled ascent.

TommyB
09-11-2007, 11:40
This months Divers Training mag has an article on this very topic.
If you can snag a copy from someone, copy the article for future reference.

TxScubaBear
09-11-2007, 11:58
Our OW instructor last year taught us to tilt head down so water wouldn't enter into the nose, and exhale gently so the bubbles wouldn't force water up there either.....worked for me this past weekend during AOW at the 30' platform when we reviewed our skills as well!

greyzen
09-11-2007, 12:12
I guess I'm just different...
Water up my nose has never really bothered me all that much...
I like to swim upside down a lot (fins to the sky) mainly to watch the confused divers around me and I get a lot of water in my nose... doesn't seem to stop me though :D

shari75202
09-15-2007, 02:43
I'm currently taking my OW class and I'm having trouble with this skill. It's the only thing thus far I simply cannot conquer! I tried the breathing in with my mouth and out through my nose technique but this caused me to inhale water. I know I have to stay calm but that's easier said that done sometimes. It's very frustrating because I am very hard on myself when I can't accomplish things quickly. I just have to practice, practice, practice and I KNOW I will eventually get it. Wish me luck !!!

JCAT
09-15-2007, 05:38
I'm currently taking my OW class and I'm having trouble with this skill. It's the only thing thus far I simply cannot conquer! I tried the breathing in with my mouth and out through my nose technique but this caused me to inhale water. I know I have to stay calm but that's easier said that done sometimes. It's very frustrating because I am very hard on myself when I can't accomplish things quickly. I just have to practice, practice, practice and I KNOW I will eventually get it. Wish me luck !!!

One thing you might try that I've read about is;

Sit in bathtub
Fill mask with water
Put mask on and read book, mag, ect.

After a few sessions, add snorkle and another good mag or book.

Good Luck

ScubaToys Larry
09-15-2007, 09:12
I always have them inhale and exhale with mouth only. I found trying the in - mouth, and out - nose gets more confusing for them. We tell them to just imagine they walked into the bathroom after Joe was in there - so they sure don't want to inhale through their nose. That seems to do it! :smiley36:

diverdad
09-15-2007, 09:32
I always have them inhale and exhale with mouth only. I found trying the in - mouth, and out - nose gets more confusing for them. We tell them to just imagine they walked into the bathroom after Joe was in there - so they sure don't want to inhale through their nose. That seems to do it! :smiley36:

LARRY i think you style is probalby is the best. I guess we will have to ask JOE if he is that bad in the restroom:smilie39:

gtjason2000
09-15-2007, 13:10
Thanks, if anyone is still having trouble this weekend I will now be armed with some tactics

jo8243
09-18-2007, 11:56
I think it is because people tend to breathe through their nose normally.... when the mask is on they can't. When it's off, well.........

greyzen
09-18-2007, 11:58
actually just keeping the mask on (with or without water) would probably do it...
Get the mask and snork and head to the local swimming pool. Play in the pool for like an hour and you'll notice you aren't breathing in your nose much.

coralcrazed
09-18-2007, 13:32
for those wo have some difficulty with this, jus breath out of thier nose to be sure water does not enter the nose. others can also pinch thier nose.

reservecops
09-18-2007, 14:02
Well, I've been called a 'mouth-breather' a few times in my life, but for some odd reason, I don't think it had anything to do with SCUBA diving ... ;)

Do they freak when they initially remove their mask? Breathing OUT through the nose as they (first) remove their mask eliminates the pressure difference that tends to push water up the nose when the mask is removed.

crpntr133
09-18-2007, 23:53
I love the bath tub and reading a book idea. Might have to try that one myself since this is my problem area. The sad part is that during OW I was allowed to pinch my nose. During tech classes they don't let you do that. Just wish that the gap from rec to tech wasn't so darn big.

chefchris
09-19-2007, 00:00
hahaha. i just got bored and decided to fill up my bathtub and work on my breathing without a mask skill. Seriously, I just got out 5 minutes ago. It's probably the only skill that I'm not confident with . Anytime some one is in front of me I'll usually put a finger on my mask. I got to say I surprised myself tonight in the tub. Didn't feel any panic and even worked on breathing with a free flow without a mask. Talk about an extreme situation! After working on it some I turned the dive and did a safety stop at 3" for 20 seconds.

In my OW class, when doing this skill, my throat seemed to close up and I couldn't exhale/inhale all the way. It was weird. I would get all nervous and felt not in control.

DZorn00
09-19-2007, 06:33
Being new to diving, and a heavy nose breather(in the nose out the mouth on land) I had a huge problem doing this. But breathe out the nose and that will stop the water going up the nose from the reg. Ask them if they have ever done a flip in the water. If so, how did they keep water from going up there nose? It is the same concept. Hope it helps good luck..

dburg30
09-19-2007, 09:07
You know, I had the same problem, as did my wife. I just made it a matter of mind over matter. I want to dive so bad that I overcame it. My wife had to come to terms with it on her own. For 25 years it has bothered me, expecialy of chlorine was in the water. Now, just a little burn, thats if its really strong in the pool lol!

I'm going to have to take this approach. I dont have a problem with water, I love swimming, but I've always had to use nose clips to enjoy it. I just literally hate the feeling of water. I'm just going to have to buck up and get used to the feeling of water in the nose, and learn to mouth breathe...

wifeofdzorn00
09-19-2007, 22:23
As a diver in high school it was "as soon as you hit the water blow out the nose" This will keep the water out, it is definately a learned technique though.

Buoyant1
09-24-2007, 11:23
My best tip is to make sure that the regulator exhaust goes around your face and NOT up your nose!

Aquatrax
11-05-2007, 06:05
This months Divers Training mag has an article on this very topic.
If you can snag a copy from someone, copy the article for future reference.

I believe this is the article. Good info and technique

scuba skills

Mastering Mask Removal and Replacement:

It’s Easier Than You Think

http://www.dtmag.com/images/STORIES_03.gifhttp://www.dtmag.com/images/STORIES_04.gifBy Linda Lee Walden Photos by Barry and Ruth Guimbellot




The mask is a deceptively simple piece of scuba equipment. Yet its simplicity often belies its importance. The mask is a crucial piece of scuba gear because it allows us visually dependent humans to enjoy a clear view of the underwater world. Since our eyes are not designed for use underwater, when not wearing a mask we see only a hazy, distorted seascape.
As much as we depend on our mask for an enjoyable underwater experience, we tend to take it for granted. However, when some event causes our mask to flood, it generates great anxiety.

I’ve heard new divers swear that once they passed their certification course, they expected to never again flood their mask or take it off underwater. Although they successfully demonstrated the “mask removal and replacement underwater” skill during their training and evaluation dives, the effort produced such mental discomfort that they feared this event more than any other diving mishap except perhaps running out of air.

Removing a mask underwater, replacing it and clearing it of water should not be considered an emergency, but just another skill that indicates comfort with using our equipment underwater.

Why would we have to remove our mask underwater, anyway?

Hopefully, we wouldn’t. But several possibilities exist. If the mask strap is not seated on the crown of the head, it may slide up or down and cause discomfort or prevent a good seal. The easiest way to fix this is to remove the mask and replace it with the strap in the correct position.

Another diver could accidentally knock your mask off with an errant kick of the fins, or you might catch the strap or snorkel on something if you get too close, dislodging the mask. Occasionally, the best way to defog a stubborn viewing window is to remove the mask and give the lens a good rubbing. Also, buckles or straps have been known to break (although this can be prevented by a thorough predive equipment check), which could cause loss of the face seal and subsequent flooding.

While the chances of the above occurrences are slim, one of the purposes of scuba training is to prepare you for the unexpected. Mastering the mask removal and replacement skill not only prepares you to handle minor problems such as the above, but also increases your self-confidence.

For those who find this skill daunting, mental rehearsal before underwater practice can help ease anxiety. Picture yourself performing every aspect of the skill perfectly over and over. As you do, concentrate on keeping your breathing calm and steady.



Step 1 — Just Add Water

Start by kneeling on the bottom in shallow water — either in a pool or water with similar conditions. Take the time to stabilize — make sure you are slightly negative so you can remain in place on the bottom; calm your breathing and mentally rehearse the steps of removing and then replacing your mask.

Part of the potential difficulty with this skill is the sudden immersing of the eyes and nose in water, which produces a “gasp” reflex. It causes an instinctual inhalation and urge to hold your breath. Instead, water should be introduced into the mask slowly.

When you are ready, place your thumbs under the mask frame and forefingers on the top. Pull outward on the top of the frame just enough to let water trickle into the mask pocket. Stop when it fills to below eye level (photo 1). Continue to breathe normally.

This slow introduction of water into the mask gives you time to control the gasp reflex. After additional practice you’ll barely notice this response. Gradual flooding also allows your face to acclimate to the water temperature, which may be significantly cooler than the skin-warmed air inside the pocket.

http://www.dtmag.com/Stories/Dive%20Skills/03-06-scubaskills2.jpg

Step 2 — Flood and Remove the Mask

Once your breathing has returned to normal, continue to gradually flood the mask until it is filled with water. Your eyes may remain open, or you may keep them closed if you are sensitive to chlorine or salt water or you are wearing contacts.

Lift the mask off your head either by reaching back with one hand and grasping the mask strap while holding the mask frame with the other, or by simply pulling it off with both hands on the frame, whichever is more comfortable for you (photo 2). Do not let go of the mask once removed.

Without the mask in place, some divers fear getting water up their nose. This should not happen if you are breathing through your mouth (the regulator), but the feeling of water in the nostrils can be disconcerting nonetheless. To avoid water in the nostrils maintain positive pressure by exhaling slightly through the nose while continuing to exhale primarily through the regulator. Do not exhale entirely through the nose; this is not as efficient as air exchange, could lead to accidentally inhaling through the nose and the bubbles may restrict your sight (if your eyes are open).



Step 3 — No-Mask Breathing

With the mask off, relax and continue breathing for a minute or so before attempting to replace it. In an actual mask removal situation, for instance if it were knocked off, the mask may not be conveniently aligned in your hands, ready to don.

One common mistake is rushing to get the mask back on the face without making sure it is properly positioned. I’ve seen divers try to don a mask with the strap twisted up or folded inside the pocket. Some have even placed it on their face upside down and then been confused when they couldn’t make a seal. None of these situations is inherently dangerous unless it elevates the stress level, potentially leading to panic.

Before attempting to replace the mask on your face, examine it with your hands (photo 3). Locate the nose pocket with your fingers to make sure it is toward the bottom. Move around the frame to verify that no part of the mask strap or buckle will interfere with the seal. Once the mask is correctly oriented, use one hand to feel along the length of the strap loop, straightening and flattening it as you go.

Although some instructors advise keeping your eyes open throughout the exercise, I recommend that, at least for this step, you close your eyes. You should practice positioning your mask for donning without having to look at it, since in some circumstances, for instance during a night dive, you may be unable to see it.

http://www.dtmag.com/Stories/Dive%20Skills/03-06-scubaskills3.jpg

Step 4 — Repositioning and Clearing

Once the mask is correctly positioned, with one hand on the frame and the other keeping the strap straight, it’s ready to don. First, seal the mask seal against your face with one hand. Hold it in place while pulling the strap down over the crown of your head (i.e., the widest part) with the other (photo 4). Smooth the strap and then clear water out of the mask using your normal method.

Continue to maintain positive pressure in your nose until the mask is clear of water.

An alternative to following the sequence in Step 4 is to clear water out of the mask before situating the strap on the head.

Seat the mask on the face with one hand while holding the mask strap out of the way with the other. At this point you can clear the mask by pressing gently on the top of the frame with one hand while exhaling through the nose (photo 5). Then pull the strap down over the crown and use both hands to smooth it.



Perhaps the best reason for practicing mask removal and replacement is that it’ll boost your confidence, knowing that you can continue to breathe normally through your regulator, with or without your mask in place. Mastering this procedure until it produces no excess stress could make the difference between a minor incident and a true emergency triggered by panic.

CLaFong
11-15-2007, 15:17
check out the post at:
http://forum.scubatoys.com/scuba-stories-comments-questions-dont-fit-elsewhere/5775-mask-clearing-water-up-nose.html (http://forum.scubatoys.com/scuba-stories-comments-questions-dont-fit-elsewhere/5775-mask-clearing-water-up-nose.html)

theres some excellant info in there on clearing masks, water up the nose etc, also on why it happens

Zyxistal
11-15-2007, 19:54
My OW instructor taught us to turn our head slightly so the exhaust bubbles from the reg would miss our nose. I still use that approach and it seems to work for me.


Our instructor had us do this also and I have heard of one student (in another class) having their mask flooded and then breathing off the reg and going from there.