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Thread: Equalization problems

  1. #1
    Guppy
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    Equalization problems

    So im new to diving and I encountered a new experience to my ears called pressure... in a plane and car at high elevations i just swallow or chew gum... underwater i cant chew gum and swallowing dosent do anything... the first day was horrible i almost threw in the towel but i stuck it out and the next day it was better... not great but better... ive been told that if you take an Afrin type product it helps; ear drops; or just dive more often it helps.... is there any truth to these rumors?

  2. #2
    Barracuda
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    I don't recommend taking anything to help you equalize, although many people do it. As you begin to dive more your eustachian tubes will begin to "clear" easier so just keep diving.

    Begin to clear before you enter the water and do it often, before you feel the need to clear your ears.
    If you can't equalize ascend a bit and try again and never do it forcefully.
    Proper technique and regularity will do it every time.
    3/4 of the Earth are covered by water and 1/4 by land. Clearly God intended us to spend 3 times as much time fishing and diving than mowing the lawn. - Wiz

  3. #3
    Guppy
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    Most of the time I can drop like a rock and have no trouble with clearing my ears. But....... sometimes they can give me fits.

    Most of the time I try to clear while I am still on the boat, or above water. Then again after I am under a few feet. Once I get past about 20 feet than I can clear with no trouble by just blowing a little pressure into my mask. That helps my ears and also keeps the mask comfortable on my face.

    When I have trouble it is usually near the surface. If you can't get it to clear, you don't want to go any deeper. Most of the time I can just stop or raise up a little and can get my ears to "Pop"

    You should always be careful with any medication you take and dive with. I know that some decongestants will raise your heart rate, and Blood pressure as will as clearing your sinus.

    As I take medication to help keep my Blood Pressure under control, I am aware of this, but you might want to talk to your Doctor and ask him.

    Of course there is also the "Divers Alert Network" that can supply a great deal of information


    Hmmmm I wonder if using a Nettie pot would help with the sinus?


    Good luck with your ears
    Bob-B
    If diving was any more fun, it would probably be illegal

  4. #4
    Guppy
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    Thanks will take all of that in to consideration

  5. #5
    THE Supreme Master Spammer Founding Member
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    practice practice practice the Valsalva technique on dry land. Often. Just be careful and proceed slowly if it is difficult for you. Do it now, tonight, tomorrow and so on....
    Tim "The Star and Crescent shall not be worn by every man, but only by him who is worthy to wear it. He must be a gentleman... a man of honor and courage... a man of zeal, yet humble... an intelligent man...a man of truth... one who tempers action with wisdom and, above all else, one who walks in the light of God."

  6. #6
    Grouper
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    you've got some good advise already and im just gonna add to what has already been mentioned.

    While decending, go slowly, there is no rush to get to the bottom as that will only compound the problem. If you force yourself to get deep with a lot of pressure on you ears you may do some damage to your ears. I have troubles clearing my right ear all the time. All i have to do is plug my nose and try to breathe out my nose. I do this before the pressure really starts building up and i do it as often as possible as i decend. Again if you cant equalize, go up a few feet and try again.

    The trick is to take it slow, i had one person that was paired with me just after his open water checkouts was right gun-ho wanted to get to the bottom and see everything and swim as fast as possible to get there. At 30 ft after a very fast decend he pointed to his ears and i knew exactally what was wrong, we went back to the surface, had a chat about taking things nice and slowly and sure enough when we went back down he had no problems at all.

    Again like what was said by everyone else, take it good and slow, be sure you are ready to go deeper and dont force it.

  7. #7
    Guppy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Splitlip View Post
    practice practice practice the Valsalva technique on dry land. Often. Just be careful and proceed slowly if it is difficult for you. Do it now, tonight, tomorrow and so on....
    I'm a new diver also. What is the Valsalva technique?

  8. #8
    Grouper
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    Quote Originally Posted by lespaulsf View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Splitlip View Post
    practice practice practice the Valsalva technique on dry land. Often. Just be careful and proceed slowly if it is difficult for you. Do it now, tonight, tomorrow and so on....
    I'm a new diver also. What is the Valsalva technique?
    Pinch your nose closed and blow GENTLY to force pressure into your middle ear.

  9. #9
    Grouper
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    Valsalva

    A Valsalva maneuver (or its variants) drive compressed higher-pressure gas from the throat into the middle ear via the Eustachian tubes to equalize the pressure across the tympanic membrane (ear drum), which separates the middle and outer ears. The Valsalva maneuver itself involves the attempt to blow air out through the nose while the nostrils are pinched. Unable to escape through the nose, the gas is forced into the Eustachian tube.

    A very good video link was posted some time ago by a board member from Washington State. I'll try to dig it up, unless somebody else is faster on the draw.


    Quote Originally Posted by lespaulsf View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Splitlip View Post
    practice practice practice the Valsalva technique on dry land. Often. Just be careful and proceed slowly if it is difficult for you. Do it now, tonight, tomorrow and so on....
    I'm a new diver also. What is the Valsalva technique?
    So easy, even a cave diver can do it -- wgt

  10. #10
    Grouper
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    video link

    Here is the link to the video that I mentioned above. The link was originally posted by WaScubaDude.

    Doc's Diving Medicine Home Page
    So easy, even a cave diver can do it -- wgt

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