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Thread: I don't seem to need to equalize on the way up...

  1. #1
    Guppy
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    I don't seem to need to equalize on the way up...

    I've been doing some freediving in 15' of water. I found that, on my way up, I don't seem to need to equalize. Everything felt just fine.

    This is very different from on the way down, where I need to equalize barely 3' below water.

    Is this the way it is? Or am I already equalizing, just that I'm not aware of it? I usually blow air out on my way up.

  2. #2
    Shark
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    I don't notice not doing it on the way up, I guess I'm just doing it by habit. But, yeah, on the equalising at three feet I get. I have to equalize as soon as I get below the surface, or I have problems the whole dive. Usually within the first 2' or so of the surface.

    It's only impossible.

  3. #3
    Grand Poobah Founding Member
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    ScubaToys Larry's Avatar
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    You need to equalize when heading down as the inner ear space is getting depressed as the air contracts. On the way up, the expanding air works out on it's own. You would not want to "Pinch and blow" on the way up... you don't want to put more air in there.. you want it to leave - but it normally does without you noticing.

    Some times you may hear a "clicking" or a "squeaking..." like holding the balloon end taught as the air escapes... But many times, you will never notice the equalizing... or re-equalizing upon ascending.

    Obviously, this is true whether it's scuba or free diving.

  4. #4
    Shark Founding Member
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    My ears will generally equalize by themselves on the way up. But I'm with you on the way down. I have to start as soon as I go under. I also have a lot of trouble If I ascend more than 20 or 30 feet, then try to go back down (like going from 60 to 30 then back down again). More often than not, I'll have problems equalizing on the way back down. But it clears up once I've been on the surface for a few minutes.
    "Human beings are flawed individuals. The cosmic bakers took us out of the oven a little too early. And that's the reason we're as crazy as we are." - Desdemona

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  5. #5
    Megalodon
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    Just as , inventor, Larry and Bsea said. You don't have to on the way up. Think of it this was: On the way dwon, the pressure is building so you need to add pressure to your middle ear by way of valsalva or pinch and blow or one of the other equalizing methods. Ulness you have blockage of the eustachian tubes, the release of pressure is essentialy automatic as the pressure in the middle ear just escapes.

    It sucks when it doesn't though...

    I once saved a man in Wichita just to watch him dive...(inventor)

  6. #6
    Shark Founding Member
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    On the subject of equalizing on the way up, I have had 2 occasions where 1 ear would not clear on the way up. The 1st time I fought threw it, and basically got an extreme case of vertigo. It felt like I was in a washing machine. Other than looking at my bubbles, and the light from above, I had no clue what was up or down. If I had been above water, there would have been no way I could have walked. It was that bad. The 2nd time it happened, I took much longer to come up, and I still had a small case of vertigo, nothing like the 1st time. In both cases, once I surfaced, the vertigo went away in a few minutes. I probably have close to 500 dives, and this has only happened twice, so I'm not concerned about it. Also in both cases I made at least 1 more dive that same day with no after effects (In the 1st case, I made 3 more dives).

    I tried to mildly clear my ears by blowing, but I figured this would be counter productive. I really don't know a good way to overcome this other than a really slow ascent.
    "Human beings are flawed individuals. The cosmic bakers took us out of the oven a little too early. And that's the reason we're as crazy as we are." - Desdemona

    You don't know Desdemona? . . . "She runs this space station and bake shop down near Boomtown."
    - Jimmy Buffett

  7. #7
    Grand Poobah Founding Member
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    Problems with "auto" equalizing on the way up is known as a "reverse squeeze". Normally experienced by folks who are a bit stuffed up, but then medicate to dive, and the effects wear off, they get their Eustachian tubes clogged before the ascent.

    Reducing the pain... (drop back down a few feet) and try a bunch of jaw wiggling, yawning (best you can with a reg), tilting the problem ear toward the surface (straightens out the eustachian tube) and even trying an opposite of pinch and blow... try a pinch and inhale through the nose, all can help... hopefully.

    At least some things to try!

    The vertigo is because of the difference in pressure between the two ears, so signal a buddy, let them know what is going on, and have them hang with you for the rest of the ascent.

    Obviously, this is all for scuba, as some of these things might be difficult if breath holding free diving... Not sure if this post started about free diving - where it is, or just for general scuba ear problems, but the info applies to both.

  8. #8
    Shark
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    Ant this covered in like day one of OW class, as you have more pressure in side the ear and it pushes out on the way up.
    Quote Originally Posted by ScubaToys Larry View Post
    You need to equalize when heading down as the inner ear space is getting depressed as the air contracts. On the way up, the expanding air works out on it's own. You would not want to "Pinch and blow" on the way up... you don't want to put more air in there.. you want it to leave - but it normally does without you noticing.

    Some times you may hear a "clicking" or a "squeaking..." like holding the balloon end taught as the air escapes... But many times, you will never notice the equalizing... or re-equalizing upon ascending.

    Obviously, this is true whether it's scuba or free diving.

  9. #9
    I am fortunate and do not need to equalize on the way down either. For whatever reason my sinuses self adjust both directions. No idea why I don't have to pinch and blow or use any of the other manual means to let air in.

  10. #10
    Shark
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    well Straegen I hope it isn't because ya have holes in your eardrums!

    I am fine when I remember to start equalizing before I feel it... I usually remember. If not, I can wait, maybe go up a little, haven't had to thumb a dive because of ear trouble, but I would if I had to. There will be other dives, only two ears.

    I am also glad to see our big guy retained some of his OW training!

    Sine Timore!

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