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Thread: How come some freedivers don't seem to need to adjust ear pressure?

  1. #1
    Guppy
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    How come some freedivers don't seem to need to adjust ear pressure?

    I was watching spearfishing videos, and see many free divers swim straight up or down rapidly, seemingly without adjusting ear pressure (don't see any of them holding their noses). What's going on here? Do they not need to adjust ear pressure? Or do they do it without blowing air through the nose?

  2. #2
    Grand Master Spammer Founding Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfbluestar View Post
    I was watching spearfishing videos, and see many free divers swim straight up or down rapidly, seemingly without adjusting ear pressure (don't see any of them holding their noses). What's going on here? Do they not need to adjust ear pressure? Or do they do it without blowing air through the nose?
    There are a number of alternate methods they use without pinching and blowing (the valsalva method).

    Equalizing on the way up generally happens automatically, of course, it's the way down that's the issue. And yes, they absolutely need to equalize just like the rest of us. Think about the squeeze you feel simply swimming down to the bottom of a relatively deep swimming pool... that's free diving, essentially, and you can already feel the squeeze at 10'.

    Good info on this page: Doc's Diving Medicine Home Page

    Watch the video for an excellent discussion of equalization methods.

  3. #3
    Barracuda
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    valsalva over here... no need to squeeze.
    i'm not as think as you drunk i am ...

  4. #4
    Guppy
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    Some of them may do as I do. The valsalva method has never worked very well for me, so I flex my jaw and neck muscles as I descend, almost like a yawn.

  5. #5
    Barracuda
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    Some also use nose clips. Just because you can't see them pinch their noses, doesn't mean that they're not pressurizing their ears.
    - Fisheater

  6. #6
    Guppy
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    I was born with the ability to just open the inner muscle in my eustacian tubes at will, I can wiggle my ears as well. I just keep cycling them with a small pressure at the back of my throat. On scuba I commonly roll and drop head first to a hundred without even a consideration.
    Bill

  7. #7
    Barracuda Founding Member
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    Huh? What did you say?

  8. #8
    Guppy
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    Quote Originally Posted by awap View Post
    Huh? What did you say?
    Was that question directed my way?

  9. #9
    THE Supreme Master Spammer Founding Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill A View Post
    I was born with the ability to just open the inner muscle in my eustacian tubes at will, I can wiggle my ears as well. I just keep cycling them with a small pressure at the back of my throat. On scuba I commonly roll and drop head first to a hundred without even a consideration.
    Bill
    Interesting about that. My dad could wiggle his ears and he never had to pinch and blow to equalize.

    I have limited success with wiggling my ears, and am also able to clear without touching my mask providing I do not decend too quickly. (As I type and try to wiggle my ears I can feel the activity in my Eustachian tubes).

    My brother on the other hand can fold his his tongue and dislocate both thumbs but cannot wiggle his ears. He is a serious nose pincher.

    My dad (and I to a degree) goes back to the days when masks did not have a pocket to pinch the nose.
    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."

  10. #10
    Barracuda Founding Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill A View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by awap View Post
    Huh? What did you say?
    Was that question directed my way?
    No. Just difficult for me to understand anybody with my hearing. - feeble humor.

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