Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 11 to 20 of 23

Thread: excessive mask clearing makes ear sore

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by MSilvia View Post
    I'm a bit confused by the stuff about not being able to breathe through your nose without breathing through your mouth though. I'm not an instructor, so this may be a common issue for new divers that I'm not familiar with, but it doesn't seem to me that tongue placement has anything to do with it. I mean, if you have a Kleenex you can blow your nose without exhaling through your mouth, right? I do exactly the same thing when I exhale through my nose to clear my mask, just not as forcefully.

    As an experiment, I just tried to breathe exclusively through my nose while moving my tongue to almost every position I could think of, and it didn't make breathing any easier or more difficult except in one fairly uncomfortable contortion. I suspect you might be overthinking it.
    Did you have your mouth closed while exhaling through your nose? If you did, then it really doesn't matter where your tongue is. But if you open it, it's impossible to exhale thought the nose if you don't touch the top of your mouth with your tongue.
    Vladi
    Watch live from Bayahibe at Bayahibe WebCam.com

  2. #12
    Barracuda
    Join Date
    07/12/2007
    Location
    West Seattle, Washington U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,136
    Images
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by DRSharky View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MSilvia View Post
    I'm a bit confused by the stuff about not being able to breathe through your nose without breathing through your mouth though. I'm not an instructor, so this may be a common issue for new divers that I'm not familiar with, but it doesn't seem to me that tongue placement has anything to do with it. I mean, if you have a Kleenex you can blow your nose without exhaling through your mouth, right? I do exactly the same thing when I exhale through my nose to clear my mask, just not as forcefully.

    As an experiment, I just tried to breathe exclusively through my nose while moving my tongue to almost every position I could think of, and it didn't make breathing any easier or more difficult except in one fairly uncomfortable contortion. I suspect you might be overthinking it.
    Did you have your mouth closed while exhaling through your nose? If you did, then it really doesn't matter where your tongue is. But if you open it, it's impossible to exhale thought the nose if you don't touch the top of your mouth with your tongue.
    Not at all impossible, at least for me. I can open my mouth, stick my tongue out and still exhale out my nose. I'll bet many others can as well.
    Might be like that roll your tongue trick.

  3. #13
    Guppy
    Join Date
    11/06/2007
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    96
    Quote Originally Posted by DRSharky View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by MSilvia View Post
    I'm a bit confused by the stuff about not being able to breathe through your nose without breathing through your mouth though. I'm not an instructor, so this may be a common issue for new divers that I'm not familiar with, but it doesn't seem to me that tongue placement has anything to do with it. I mean, if you have a Kleenex you can blow your nose without exhaling through your mouth, right? I do exactly the same thing when I exhale through my nose to clear my mask, just not as forcefully.

    As an experiment, I just tried to breathe exclusively through my nose while moving my tongue to almost every position I could think of, and it didn't make breathing any easier or more difficult except in one fairly uncomfortable contortion. I suspect you might be overthinking it.
    Did you have your mouth closed while exhaling through your nose? If you did, then it really doesn't matter where your tongue is. But if you open it, it's impossible to exhale thought the nose if you don't touch the top of your mouth with your tongue.
    I also don't have a problem breathing just through my nose with my mouth open no matter what the position or placement of my tongue.

  4. #14
    Barracuda
    Join Date
    05/07/2008
    Location
    Chicago, IL - USA
    Posts
    1,061
    You don't have to be in the water to practice. You can do it from the comfort of your couch. Get comfortable and relax. Plug your nose and slowly try to gently exhale through your nose. You should feel pressure start to build in your ears. Stop, release nose, swallow or wiggle jaw and ears should unpressurize. Don't force it all and stop as soon as you feel a slight pressure buildup. If there is pain or discomfort you are blowing too hard. You may not notice anything the first few times you try, no big deal, just try it again another time until you get it.

    Next time you are in the water descend very slowly, if you feel discomfort stop and go back up a few feet and gently exhale out you nose while pinching it. Don't be afraid to wait as long as it takes for your ears to clear. I've had to wait up to a minute before. Repeat every few feet while descending. It gets easier with time.

    Jack

  5. #15
    TadPole
    Join Date
    08/02/2009
    Location
    United States
    Age
    54
    Posts
    26
    I also had problems at first clearing my mask. only 1/2 of my nose works - with it being broken several times as a rough little kid. I finally learned that if I quit trying to clear it as though I was clearing my snorkel, It did not take much air to clear the mask. Breathe out through your nose very slowly - looking upward. The looking upward was hard to remember as well. you'll get it - just keep practicing but maybe not as much in one sitting, take breaks between try it a few times and take a break. Frustration causes more problems than solutions.

  6. #16
    Grouper
    Join Date
    03/10/2008
    Location
    Phuket, Thailand
    Posts
    549
    Quote Originally Posted by Lolly View Post

    But last night and today my inner ears feel swollen and raw ...not really pain,,,yet. My first question is " Can clearing your mask for 2 straight hours cause this?

    This is exactly how I started July 4th and had to suspend my scuba lessons because the swollen ear feel turned into pain and swollen glands. Now I am ready to try again, but do not want to go down that path again.
    Quote Originally Posted by WaScubaDude View Post
    You likely have an inner ear infection. Search the forum for ear infection and swimmers ear to find tons of info on how to get rid of it.
    Take Care.
    I would think it's unlikely to be an inner ear infection. These are not typically related to scuba diving. Inner ear infections also don't hurt unless they are associated with a middle ear infection at the same time. Inner ear infections (labyrythitis) cause vertigo, vomiting, loss of balance, ringing in the ear, etc.

    Middle ear problems--both infections (from pushing microbes into the middle ear when clearing forcefully) and barotrauma (from not clearing completely or early enough)--are common. External ear infections (what you might prevent with ACV or ear drying preparations) are also common.

    Lolly, lots of students I've taught breathe both through their noses and mouths while on scuba. I know because I can see little bubbles coming up from their mask skirts every time they breathe out. These students also often have trouble clearing their masks on the first try. I have three suggestions regarding the mask clearing and one regarding the sore ears:

    1) don't move your tongue all over your mouth. Just pretend to make the beginning of a "k" sound (or an "ng" sound like at the end of the word "ring") while you're clearing the mask and allowing the air to go out your nose (don't move your tongue until you are ready to breathe in again). That will make the back of your tongue seal off your throat at the soft palate (try it now; I guarantee you won't be able to breathe out through your mouth).

    2) don't worry about getting your mask clear in just one breath. Do two or three breaths if you need to. There's no rule.

    3) Try a different mask. Low profile masks are far easier to clear than other kinds since less air/water can fit into them in the first place.

    4) Clearing your mask shouldn't do anything at all to your ears. It sounds to me like a separate issue. Go see a doctor to find out where your ears are irritated (that is, is this a simple matter of swimmer's ear caused by prolonged submersion in the pool?). Once you know what the ear problem is, come back here and let us know. If it's not swimmer's ear (external ear infection), we may have some further suggestions for you.
    Last edited by Quero; 08-10-2009 at 23:19.
    DIVE with me in THAILAND!
    Gekko Scuba Divers, Phuket

  7. #17
    Grouper
    Join Date
    08/10/2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    263
    To be honest (and I'm not so sure that's a safe thing to do here), after a few hundred dives...(o.k. here goes) At times I still have trouble clearing my mask. . Sounds like the same deal you go through. For whatever reason, at times, (while under water) I have trouble breathing out my nose but only if my mask is completely flooded (must be some primordial mental block or something). NO big deal though as I'm still able to completely clear my mask. As long as you don't freak out and remain calm and eventually get it cleared, that's what it's all about...right?.
    As for the ear swelling and pain, yea, I've been to that island as well. I'd go with the ear infection "Otits Externa" (more commonly known as "swimmers ear") . Don't hesitate to go see your Dr. If you catch it early it's an easy fix. It can be treated with Cortisporin Otico (that may be spanish) which are ear drops that you can get over the counter in Mexico and Central America for around 20 bucks, but probably need a prescription and a few hundred dollars (just kidding) in the US, and will clear it up in a matter of days. If you use an ear drying solution at the end of every dive day, or pool day, as the case may be, chances of getting an infection are practically nil. The best (and cheapest) stuff I've found is the home made variety which is a solution of distilled white vinegar and isopropyl alcohol (the 91% stuff works best) mixed 50/50. I've heard of problems with over drying of the ear and blah, blah, blah, but have never experienced that. If that's a worry add a couple of drops of glycerin or baby oil. It's a little bit of hassle but if you get swimmers ear your either done diving for awhile or risking a nastier infection down the road. Hope this helps a little, good luck!
    Last edited by johnyringo; 08-10-2009 at 23:44.
    I dive, therefor I am...

  8. #18
    Grouper
    Join Date
    08/10/2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    263
    Quote Originally Posted by scubagirlj View Post
    if you are a woman and you can't breathe thru your nose without breathing thru your mouth, you are going to really disappoint the men in your life at some point.......
    I dive, therefor I am...

  9. #19
    Grouper
    Join Date
    08/09/2007
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    472
    Quote Originally Posted by Quero View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Lolly View Post

    But last night and today my inner ears feel swollen and raw ...not really pain,,,yet. My first question is " Can clearing your mask for 2 straight hours cause this?

    This is exactly how I started July 4th and had to suspend my scuba lessons because the swollen ear feel turned into pain and swollen glands. Now I am ready to try again, but do not want to go down that path again.
    Quote Originally Posted by WaScubaDude View Post
    You likely have an inner ear infection. Search the forum for ear infection and swimmers ear to find tons of info on how to get rid of it.
    Take Care.
    I would think it's unlikely to be an inner ear infection. These are not typically related to scuba diving. Inner ear infections also don't hurt unless they are associated with a middle ear infection at the same time. Inner ear infections (labyrythitis) cause vertigo, vomiting, loss of balance, ringing in the ear, etc.

    Middle ear problems--both infections (from pushing microbes into the middle ear when clearing forcefully) and barotrauma (from not clearing completely or early enough)--are common. External ear infections (what you might prevent with ACV or ear drying preparations) are also common.

    Lolly, lots of students I've taught breathe both through their noses and mouths while on scuba. I know because I can see little bubbles coming up from their mask skirts every time they breathe out. These students also often have trouble clearing their masks on the first try. I have three suggestions regarding the mask clearing and one regarding the sore ears:

    1) don't move your tongue all over your mouth. Just pretend to make the beginning of a "k" sound (or an "ng" sound like at the end of the word "ring") while you're clearing the mask and allowing the air to go out your nose (don't move your tongue until you are ready to breathe in again). That will make the back of your tongue seal off your throat at the soft palate (try it now; I guarantee you won't be able to breathe out through your mouth).

    2) don't worry about getting your mask clear in just one breath. Do two or three breaths if you need to. There's no rule.

    3) Try a different mask. Low profile masks are far easier to clear than other kinds since less air/water can fit into them in the first place.

    4) Clearing your mask shouldn't do anything at all to your ears. It sounds to me like a separate issue. Go see a doctor to find out where your ears are irritated (that is, is this a simple matter of swimmer's ear caused by prolonged submersion in the pool?). Once you know what the ear problem is, come back here and let us know. If it's not swimmer's ear (external ear infection), we may have some further suggestions for you.
    Thank you!

    Inner ear: hearing and balance. An infection here demands immediate medical intervention, surgery, medicine. Can be life threatening.

    Middle ear: Eustachian tube. This is what is cleared (pressure equalized) via valsalva type equalization maneuvers. Children often will require placement of tubes to relieve stresses and pressure within middle ears for chronic infections.

    External ear: What you see, extending to the external aspect of the eardrum. This is what you treat with ear drops containing alcohol, vinegar and such solutions to avoid external ear/ear canal infection. (swimmer's ear).

  10. #20
    Grouper
    Join Date
    03/10/2008
    Location
    Phuket, Thailand
    Posts
    549
    Quote Originally Posted by johnyringo View Post
    To be honest (and I'm not so sure that's a safe thing to do here), after a few hundred dives...(o.k. here goes) At times I still have trouble clearing my mask. . Sounds like the same deal you go through. For whatever reason, at times, (while under water) I have trouble breathing out my nose but only if my mask is completely flooded (must be some primordial mental block or something). NO big deal though as I'm still able to completely clear my mask. As long as you don't freak out and remain calm and eventually get it cleared, that's what it's all about...right?.
    Aww, johnyringo, it's okay, really.
    And you are absolutely right. As long as the mask gets cleared and the diver is happy with the process, all is good. I suspect that people who blow out both through the nose and the mouth while breathing on scuba simply don't exhale as much air into the mask while clearing it as those who completely close off the passage to the mouth, and consequently it takes a couple or few blows to complete the job. Again, there is no rule about having to clear it in one go. Some masks have a shape that make it a bit harder to clear, too. The kind shaped like a vee at the bottom of the lenses seem to be particularly problematic for some people.
    Last edited by Quero; 08-11-2009 at 07:12.
    DIVE with me in THAILAND!
    Gekko Scuba Divers, Phuket

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Ear Clearing...The best info I have found.
    By WaScubaDude in forum General Scuba Training Questions
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 05-27-2010, 13:39
  2. clearing the ear methods
    By coralcrazed in forum Open Water Diver
    Replies: 44
    Last Post: 08-20-2009, 12:37
  3. mask clearing while horizontal
    By namabiru in forum Tec
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 12-30-2008, 13:54
  4. Reverse ear block and problems clearing
    By Kidder in forum Scuba Stories, Comments & Questions that don't fit elsewhere!
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 10-25-2008, 06:10
  5. help with clearing my mask
    By mustang_52 in forum Mask / Snorkels / Fins
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 07-30-2008, 20:08

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •