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coralcrazed
09-18-2007, 13:14
does anyone use the tilt head method to clear the ear and regulate? I usually squeez the nose method. typically woks for me. but the tilt head does not work for me. Is there a trik to doing this right? It would be nice not to have to use my hand at all. thanks

greyzen
09-18-2007, 16:38
wiggle your jaw, pinch your nose, pretend to chew gum.

Something people tend to forget is orient yourself up/down and look slightly up.

CompuDude
09-18-2007, 16:47
I generally use both. Tilting my head is not quite enough to do it alone, but it makes for an easier Valsalva. (the pinch your nose and blow method)

plot
09-18-2007, 17:43
pinch the nose until i get deeper, than yawning works.

if i have trouble clearing, i go up a few feet and try again.

i also start clearing them a few days before i start diving just so i'm in the clearing mood and my ears are ready for it!

chinacat46
09-18-2007, 18:02
Sometimes I can just clear by swallowing hard and moving my jaw forward. If that dosen't work then I do the Valsalva.

DZorn00
09-19-2007, 07:22
I was haveing trouble on my first closed water dive even going down 10 ft. I then tried yanning when I was down and that seemed to help me keep them clear for the rest of my dive. I also tried everyone elses suggestion of clearing everyday and a few days before and that I think had a lot to do with it.

DarkCoffee
09-19-2007, 08:58
If no one has pointed you to this video, take a peek at it. Its very helpful.
Its a medical lecture on diving related ear damage & clearing methods.
http://www.uwtv.org/programs/displayevent.aspx?rID=2272

coralcrazed
09-21-2007, 02:17
that is an awsome video... thank you for sharing it...

RikRaeder
09-21-2007, 05:50
Helpful and informative...thanks

TxScubaBear
09-21-2007, 07:12
The methods in that video have helped me more than once I tell ya! It's great!

wxboy911
09-21-2007, 08:36
My best methode is to swallow but I also wear a set of Docs Pro Plugs(Vented) so little water get into my ear. I had trouble clearing my right ear until I used Docs Pro Plugs.

coralcrazed
09-21-2007, 09:38
My best methode is to swallow but I also wear a set of Docs Pro Plugs(Vented) so little water get into my ear. I had trouble clearing my right ear until I used Docs Pro Plugs.

hmnnnn what should ha;ppen if they fall out while on a dive...? I don't think that will be good for you. I would just equalize early and often. Per-equalization is the key.

Charles R
09-21-2007, 09:43
Only have to move my jaw around and my ears clear but I do it alot for practice and now I dont even think about it when I dive and my ears are always clear

Diverdude
09-28-2007, 09:07
I typically use the pinch nosed technique, but when I make small depth changes swallowing is enough to equilize me. Thats a great video BTW.

Steve Scuba
09-29-2007, 12:27
Holy cow! What a great video. Everything I ever wanted to know about the ear and equalization, and a little more. They should make that required viewing for certification. Of course they'd have to jazz it up a bit to keep people attention for the whole hour.

DZorn00
09-29-2007, 21:07
Great vid. I have had trouble clearing, but starting a day before clearing my ears while driving or laying around has helped alot...

TRACI
11-02-2007, 15:52
It depends on what depth I am at, as to which method works better for me, the pinching of the nose seems to work while I am descending, swallowing seems to work fine past 50-60 ft. I doctor said that a front flip equilizes his ears everytime, but I have not tried that, I am afraid I may get motion sick.

MSilvia
11-02-2007, 16:19
I'm a Valsalva guy myself. I never had a problem with the maneuver, and it's never failed to do the job.

dutchman
11-02-2007, 16:28
I found chewing gums works.

RoadRacer1978
11-02-2007, 16:32
I use the pinch nose technique myself most of the time. I have been told that the more you equalize the easier it becomes. Everyhting gets loosened up and more flexible. So practicing often seems to be a good idea as a preventative. Think of it as a SCUBA exercise for your ears and no specail equipment or a trip to the gym is needed.

CompuDude
11-02-2007, 16:50
Valsalva for me, at least for the first 50 feet or so. After that the pressure changes are more gradual and frequently a suppressed yawn is good enough.

mitsuguy
11-12-2007, 12:46
Valsalva for me, at least for the first 50 feet or so. After that the pressure changes are more gradual and frequently a suppressed yawn is good enough.

same here... once down, I can also just simply blow into my mask - it equalizes the mask and most of the time, my ears as well...

MikeJ7
12-08-2007, 18:22
Anyone know another link for the video? Isn't working for me. I'd really like to see since I had a pretty painful experience during certification...hahah. We camped the night before the tests and had a cedar fire. Ended up making me really congested. I had a really tough time equalizing the first dive...in fact I never really did fully equalize. I didn't want to fail or be the oddball of the group so I kept going down anyway (yeah like a dummy) and experienced numbing pain. It let up slightly once we got to 60 ft and stayed there but the throbbing was pretty painful. The first dive was only 30 mins but I swear it was one of the longest 30 mins of my life. The second dive I still couldn't equalize and tried so hard my nose burst. I cleared my mask before my dive master could check up on me so I wouldn't get sent up. Just had to keep clearing it before he could notice it. The next day on the third dive I descended with my mask completely off so I could fully pinch my nose off and had better luck. The fourth dive went okay but none of them were really an enjoyable experience because of my constant ear pain unfortunately. It's been a month now and my ears have gotten better for the most part but I still feel like I'm underwater :smiley11:. I know for sure I'll never do this again or push myself through any other problem I might experience. Just glad I got certified, but I didn't want to look like a sissy if I complained about the ear problems I had during that time. Haha yeah sorry for rambling on, but I'd really like to see that video because I pray that my equalizing trouble was merely from the cedar camp fire congestion and not something I'll normally have to deal with.

CompuDude
12-10-2007, 16:01
No, that's the link. Looks like they're having server issues. I'd just try back in a day or so and it'll probably be working again.

adv_diver1
12-10-2007, 16:18
I have always done the pinch the nose and lightly blow into your nose trick...

Streamline
12-10-2007, 22:14
... because I pray that my equalizing trouble was merely from the cedar camp fire congestion and not something I'll normally have to deal with.

:kopfpatsch: You should really pray and thank God that you can still use your ears

ScubaJW
12-10-2007, 22:56
Sometimes I do swallow, it works every time without using my hand.

cutter77
01-23-2008, 23:31
Clear early and often....it's nice when you really don't have to think about it anymore, you just automatically do it.

robjoubert
01-24-2008, 14:09
Anyone know another link for the video? .

Mike,

this is from a document that I found on another forum:-

Equalize Every Time April 2007 By Selene Yeager

Ear woes are the No. 1 reason divers pull the plug on a dive, if not, in extreme cases, the sport itself. If you're one of those divers who consistently finds yourself hanging on the line, swiveling your skull from side to side and inflating your cheeks like a Dizzy Gillespie bobblehead, take heart: It's not just you. Mother Nature didn't imagine airplanes and tanks of compressed air, so active equalizing under extreme pressure is a little unnatural. But with a few tricks and advanced techniques, almost anyone can make equalizing easier.

"We can usually get 96 to 97 percent of people equalizing without any extraordinary means, like surgery," says Frans Cronje, M.D., executive and medical director of DAN Southern Africa. "It's a matter of finding the right technique as well as addressing underlying factors that may be making equalizing more difficult than it should be."

First, check your technique. Very simply, the "goal" of equalizing is to create pressure inside the ear canal that matches that of increasing pressure from the outside. The only way to do that is through the eustachian tube-a tunnel that runs from the back of your nose to the middle ear space. The eustachian tube is mostly collapsed; but it opens up when your ear space needs to equalize pressure. When you feel that familiar "pop," your eustachian tube has opened to let air in. When you dive, the outside pressure is more extraordinary, so opening the tube takes more work.

As with any big job (and you know if you're reading this, clearing can feel like a big job), it's important to get an early start. That means you shouldn't even wait until you hit the water. Test your ears while putting together your gear and suiting up. You should be able to clear with ease. Once you're in the water and on your way down, clear before you feel discomfort, rather than waiting until you feel pressure. And don't limit yourself to "just pinching and blowing."

"There are many techniques for equalizing," says Cronje. "We all know Valsalva [pinch and blow], because it's the easiest to teach and to try, but you may find you respond better to another method," he says. The following are techniques experts find work best.


Valsalva

How to do it: Everyone knows it; but many people still don't do it quite right. Pinch your nose and gently blow air up through your throat and into the eustachian tubes. The trick is to blow with the right amount of pressure-but not too much, because you can damage the inner ear. You want to blow as hard as you would if you were inflating a large balloon. Blow no longer than two seconds at a stretch.

What it does: Actively opens the eustachian tubes with an increase in air pressure.


Voluntary tubal opening

How to do it: Contract the muscles in your soft palate (the back of the roof of your mouth) and throat while pushing your jaw forward and down. It should feel like yawning with your mouth closed, like you might do when trying to be polite during a boring conversation.

What it does: Tensing and stretching the muscles pull the eustachian tubes open. Some divers get good enough at this technique to hold their tubes open for continuous equalization.




Toynbee

How to do it: Pinch your nose and swallow at the same time.

What it does: Swallowing tenses the muscles in the throat and soft palate to pull the tubes open, while your tongue compresses air against them. This is considered one of the most natural ways to equalize.


Frenzel

How to do it: Hold your nose and forcefully press your tongue against the back of your throat while making a "K" or "ng" sound.

What it does: Contracts the throat muscles to open the tubes while compressing air against them with the tongue.


Lowry

How to do it: Combine Valsalva and Toynbee: Pinch your nose and then blow against your closed nose while swallowing at the same time. It's tricky to do with a regulator in your mouth. But it can help you feel how the muscles you use to clear work.

What it does: Pulls open the tubes while forcing air into them to ensure they get open and stay open.


Edmonds

How to do it: Contract the muscles in your throat and soft palate while jutting your lower jaw forward. For a stronger effect, combine Edmonds with Valsalva.

What it does: Stretches the muscles surrounding the eustachian tubes to help pull the tubes open.


Head tilting

How to do it: While using other equalizing techniques, tilt your head from side to side (the side being stretched should be easier to clear). Some divers also find it easier to clear their ears if they look up.

What it does: Tilting the head stretches the folds surrounding the eustachian tubes so it's easier to open them.






Trouble Below the Surface

So you've tried jutting, tilting, pinching and blowing and still can't get your ears open. Chances are you have an underlying problem literally blocking the way, says Melissa Pynnonen, M.D. "Like your nose, your eustachian tubes are lined with mucosa, which produces the thick fluid we know as mucus. And like the lining of your nose, the tubes can be swollen and blocked when they're irritated by allergies or infections," she says.

Here's a look at the most common roadblocks to clear ears and how to work around them.

Congestion: Stuffiness is by far the biggest barrier to ear clearing. Inflamed mucosa in the tubes shrinks the opening, making it harder to force air in and equalize the pressure, and too much sticky mucus can clog the openings, making it nearly impossible to open the tubes no matter what you do. A clear head is the ticket to clear ears. Here's what to do:

Flush 'em out. Nasal irrigation systems like NeilMed's Sinus Rinse (NeilMed Products - Sinus Rinse, Nasal Rinse, Sinusitis, Rhinitis, Allergies (http://www.unimedprod.com)) or Ayr Sinus Rinse (B.F. Ascher & Co - Makers of Consumer Health Care Products for Better Living! (http://www.bfascher.com)) flush out sticky mucus, wash away irritants that inflame your mucosa, and stimulate the cilia (little broom-like hairs) in your nose to help them work better at keeping the passages clean and clear. In a study of 100 divers with ear-clearing troubles, 69 percent of them reported improvement after performing nasal irrigation. "Sixty percent of those who routinely used oral decongestants during diving were able to use less or stop taking the pills altogether," says study investigator David F. Colvard, M.D., of Raleigh, N.C.

It sounds gross. And maybe it is a little. But it doesn't sting, and you feel remarkably better afterward. "Irrigation also works dramatically better than saline sprays because it mechanically rinses out thick or crusted mucus in hard to reach places and reduces swelling in the mucosa, so you have more space for air to move in and out," says Pynnonen, a practicing sinus surgeon.

Drink up. Dehydration contributes to thick, clumpy mucus. "Drinking enough water so your urine is clear will help thin your mucus so it's less sticky and the eustachian tubes will function better," says Cronje.

Snuff the smokes. Anyone who's ever experienced a mucousy smoker's cough knows that tobacco smoke irritates the mucosa and promotes more mucus production. Quitting helps clear your lungs-and your ears.

Bypass the dairy. Milk and other dairy products increase mucus production. "Avoid eating dairy for two days before you dive if you have trouble equalizing," says Cronje.

Avoid additives. The same foods that can trigger migraine headaches also can contribute to congestion and ear clearing woes, says Cronje. Steer clear of red wine, chocolate, aged cheeses and foods containing additives like MSG (monosodium glutamate) and nitrites.

Pop a pill. Although recommended with caution and for no more than three to five days, when all else fails, 60 mg of pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) may do the trick. Be cautious, however; Sudafed can cause side effects like racing heartbeat that don't mix well with diving and can even cause an obstruction of urine in men. Be sure you tolerate it well before diving on it, and don't overdose. Also, because it stimulates your central nervous system, it may interact with nitrogen narcosis and increase your risk of oxygen toxicity. "I would be careful taking it if you are planning dives deeper than 80 feet or using enriched air nitrox," says Cronje.

Dysfunction: A lot of people are susceptible to eustachian tube dysfunction, where the tubes are swollen (often after a cold) for weeks or even months. Others just can't get the hang of clearing. In either case, consider trying the Otovent (Invotec International (http://www.invotec.net)), an autoinflation kit that helps treat eustachian tube dysfunction. "It's a nozzle with a balloon that you inflate with your nose. Using it teaches you how hard you need to blow to open your tubes and over time it 'trains' your ears to open more easily," says Cronje. The downside is it's only available online.

Obstruction: If you suffered myriad ear infections as a kid, your eustachian tubes may be scarred. Or you may have a physical obstruction, like a deviated septum making it more difficult to move air through your sinus passages. If your ears are stubbornly shut, see an ear, nose and throat specialist who can help clear the way to easier ear clearing.

Streamline
01-24-2008, 14:54
Thanks robjoubert ... that's an excellent write up.

CompuDude
02-01-2008, 19:56
I think I posted this elsewhere, but may as well put it in this thread, too, since it keeps coming back.

Updated link to the excellent ear clearing video is here: Healthy-U (http://www.researchchannel.org/asx/uw_hu_div_250k.asx)

cummings66
02-02-2008, 09:41
You have but I lost that one so thanks again.

RoyN
02-05-2008, 02:11
Looks like I don't need to clear my ears often. Then again, I'm approaching my 200th dive.

Aussie
02-05-2008, 07:30
I know a few people that use Hydrogenperoxide (3%) on a regular basis. Especially in the tropics. The pour it in and let it bubble away for 5-10minutes and flush out. Some say is also the cure for the common cold as cold and flu virus enters through the ears.

Aussie

Streamline
02-05-2008, 08:20
Thanks for the video ... it is long, but REALLY helpful!

terrillja
02-05-2008, 14:09
My best methode is to swallow but I also wear a set of Docs Pro Plugs(Vented) so little water get into my ear. I had trouble clearing my right ear until I used Docs Pro Plugs.

hmnnnn what should ha;ppen if they fall out while on a dive...? I don't think that will be good for you. I would just equalize early and often. Per-equalization is the key.

I have never had a proplug fall out, but most of the time I have a hood on anyways. I have the issue that at times I can't equalize, period. Never had a block on the way up, just going down, tons of ear infections when I was little. Trust me, I tried constantly equalizing, and it was about 50/50 for me, with the proplugs I just rock my jaw around while descending, no problems. Keeps the cold water out of my ears too, just a little bit of water gets in, then it stays warm. Love having them for new england water.

Aussie
02-05-2008, 17:55
Sorry I thought the thread said cleaning ears not clearing.....

Aussie

cutter77
02-27-2008, 20:46
Start clearing early and often after entering the water.

MicahEW
02-28-2008, 10:58
does anyone use the tilt head method to clear the ear and regulate? I usually squeez the nose method. typically woks for me. but the tilt head does not work for me. Is there a trik to doing this right? It would be nice not to have to use my hand at all. thanks

I usually carry a cpl of Qtips and a drop bottle of stuff to prevent swimmers ear and it helps the water evap out its mostly isopropyl alc.

waytooslow
04-22-2008, 16:56
getting an error when trying to access the clip - anyone? Bueller?

CompuDude
04-22-2008, 21:23
getting an error when trying to access the clip - anyone? Bueller?

See Current Clip location. Above. And here: Healthy-U (http://www.researchchannel.org/asx/uw_hu_div_250k.asx)

Works fine as of just now.

waytooslow
04-23-2008, 00:19
thanks a bunch. this is really good information

EuphoriaII
04-23-2008, 20:53
I've never doen anything but the pinch the nose technique

loadcp
08-20-2009, 13:23
Let me start off by saying that I am a crewmember on C-130s for the USAF. The problems are often the same. Personally, I often only have to swallow to clear my ears. But I also often fly unpressurized and have to clear my ears about 600 times a flight. So, that habit surfaces for me in the water.

Now, on the guy earlier who said he pushed through the pain and went for it...I am glad it worked out for you and please do not think I am blasting you. I'm not. But, I feel that it is important that it is addressed for newer divers who think that it might be ok to "tough it out". Please dont try! First off, it hurts like hell. There is no pain like not being able to clear your ears and the deeper you go the worse it gets. Also, you face some pretty severe medical problems. Ruptured eardrums and loss of hearing to name a couple. There is no shame in calling a dive because you cant clear. It happens to everyone. While there is nothing wrong with being deaf, why push that limit and increase your chances if you dont have to?

caburrid
08-20-2009, 13:37
Let me start off by saying that I am a crewmember on C-130s for the USAF. The problems are often the same. Personally, I often only have to swallow to clear my ears. But I also often fly unpressurized and have to clear my ears about 600 times a flight. So, that habit surfaces for me in the water.

Now, on the guy earlier who said he pushed through the pain and went for it...I am glad it worked out for you and please do not think I am blasting you. I'm not. But, I feel that it is important that it is addressed for newer divers who think that it might be ok to "tough it out". Please dont try! First off, it hurts like hell. There is no pain like not being able to clear your ears and the deeper you go the worse it gets. Also, you face some pretty severe medical problems. Ruptured eardrums and loss of hearing to name a couple. There is no shame in calling a dive because you cant clear. It happens to everyone. While there is nothing wrong with being deaf, why push that limit and increase your chances if you dont have to?

Wow, that is amazing how many times you need to clear your ears. I also can vouch that you should clear your ears because I have had an ear injury from not clearing and its not pleasant at all.