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After SCUBA Ear Problems

Old 07-10-2007, 08:00 AM
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Default After SCUBA Ear Problems

Just got scuba certified. Had a great time and want to start diving more often but my ears don't want to cooperate.

No problem during the dive, equalization was fine. The following day my ears were still jacked up, bought some ear drops (95% alcohol, 5% glycerin) last night and it cleared up my left ear. Right one is still messed up. Any tricks to get my hearing/ears back to normal??? Does this go away after getting used to diving or do some people have this problem continually?








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Old 07-10-2007, 09:16 AM
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Default Re: After SCUBA Ear Problems

Typically you just use some type of Swimmer's Ear solution post dive to get your canals dry and avoid any bacterial growth. If you continue to have problems with your ears you may have something else going on. I would suggest using the Swimmer's ear for another day, 2x a day, take some sudafed to help your eustachian tubes stay open and if you still have issues, have someone take a peek with an otoscope...ie a doctor, to make sure everything is ok in there. What you will get used to with additional dives is equalizing early and often...you should equalize before you feel pressure in your ears. Combine that practice with swimmers ear post dive, and you will usually be ok. On a side note, wax buildup can cause major problems, so you should be sure your ears don't have that...gross I know, but it happens. Also, when diving with a hood you can have the hood squeeze against your ear if there is a tight enough seal, and that can cause problems as well.
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:35 AM
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Default Re: After SCUBA Ear Problems

I think I waited too long to do the swimmers ear solution. 2 Dives on Saturday...Sunday am I had minor ear problems but that cleared up when I did the 2 dives that day. Sunday night and Monday it's been like I'm wearing ear plugs. I have been taking the Sudafed. Did the swimmers ear soultion last night...over 30 hours after the dives. Might use some wax soultion tonight. If it's not cleared up by tomorrow it's doctor time.


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Old 07-10-2007, 11:27 AM
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Default Re: After SCUBA Ear Problems

With all the distracting new experiences involved, a lot of new divers wait too long to equalize when they are going down. Next time, try going real slow and clear your ears every couple of feet or continuously, both going up and down. You should never have to blow hard to clear your ears, if it seems you have to just change your depth until the pressure releases.

If you are boat diving, it's much easier to do this following the anchor line down, using it to hold yourself at a specific depth until you can completely clear your ears.

Tom O
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Old 07-11-2007, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: After SCUBA Ear Problems

Ears are not getting better...doctor appointment with a ENT specialist tomorrow morning.



Miserable right now...equilibrium not right. If I don't make it bury me in my boat.




(with all my fishing gear too)





(bottle of scotch or two won't hurt either for the afterlife..)


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Old 07-13-2007, 09:39 AM
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Default Re: After SCUBA Ear Problems

Ludicrous....Hope everything turned out allright. :-)
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Old 07-13-2007, 12:49 PM
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Default Re: After SCUBA Ear Problems

Eustachian tubes.


Meds have helped, only day two of taking the drugs. One ear will start to clear, then it clogs up again, switches ears. Very annoying condition.


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Old 07-15-2007, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: After SCUBA Ear Problems

This may sound........well........ludicrous.......but try a yeast free or even a reduced yeast diet 2-3 days before you dive. That means no beer or breads. If you have to have a drink, clear distilled spirits.
It worked for me.
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Old 07-16-2007, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: After SCUBA Ear Problems

Endoman...did you have the same problems when you started diving? It's now one week later and my ears are still messed up. I don't want to stop diving. I can lay off the bread and beer....I will have to make up for lost time after the dives though.



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Old 07-16-2007, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: After SCUBA Ear Problems

Ludicrous - 7/16/2007 8:40 AM

Endoman...did you have the same problems when you started diving? It's now one week later and my ears are still messed up. I don't want to stop diving. I can lay off the bread and beer....I will have to make up for lost time after the dives though.


Yes, same problems when I started. I saw an ENT, she was the one to put me on the yeast free diet.
I went back and reread your post about having some discomfort Saturday night then you did 2 more dives Sunday. That may have worsened things a bit.
Your ENT mentioned eustachian tubes, did he/she say whether or not they were swollen?
Best of luck, diving is a great hobby.

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Old 07-16-2007, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: After SCUBA Ear Problems

endoman - 7/16/2007 5:27 PM

Ludicrous - 7/16/2007 8:40 AM

Endoman...did you have the same problems when you started diving? It's now one week later and my ears are still messed up. I don't want to stop diving. I can lay off the bread and beer....I will have to make up for lost time after the dives though.


Yes, same problems when I started. I saw an ENT, she was the one to put me on the yeast free diet.
I went back and reread your post about having some discomfort Saturday night then you did 2 more dives Sunday. That may have worsened things a bit.
Your ENT mentioned eustachian tubes, did he/she say whether or not they were swollen?
Best of luck, diving is a great hobby.

The Sunday dives actually felt good. Minor discomfort on Saturday night, the pressure of the dives helped...for a short while. The tubes are swollen....got a hearing test and cat scan tomorrow morning...followup with the ENT after that. He mentioned draining my inner ear. I didn't have him expand on that...needle through the ear?...tube up my nose? We'll see tomorrow.

Please don't be "The needle in the ear" method!

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Old 07-17-2007, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: After SCUBA Ear Problems

Let us know how it works out.
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Old 07-17-2007, 03:30 PM
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Default Re: After SCUBA Ear Problems

Hearing test normal. Actually, very good grades on the test.....and I didn't even study.

CAT scan results pending.
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Old 07-18-2007, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: After SCUBA Ear Problems

What the heck is Bilateral Mastoid Disease?

I tried to do a search but all I'm finding is Meniere's Disease. (same same.....aka) ??????

Sounds about right for my symptoms. Anyone know anything about this?





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Old 07-30-2007, 09:25 AM
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Default Re: After SCUBA Ear Problems

next time before you dive take sudafed the real stuff not the pe version and combine that with nasal spray decongestant then you are much less likely to plug your tubes just be careful about the timing so it doesn't wear off when you are diving
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Old 07-30-2007, 10:16 AM
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Default Re: After SCUBA Ear Problems

catfoiler - 7/30/2007 9:25 AM

next time before you dive take sudafed the real stuff not the pe version and combine that with nasal spray decongestant then you are much less likely to plug your tubes just be careful about the timing so it doesn't wear off when you are diving
I am going to have to disagree with catfoiler. Bilateral Mastoid Disease is actually a contraindication to diving, and something that needs to be cleared with a Doc prior to resuming any diving activities.

As far as the meds pre dive, there is also a problem with that...if you plan to take Pseudoephedrine, you should be aware of other complications that may be created.

Here are 2 articles that highlight some of the issues encountered with just Sudafed (pseudoepehdrine)

"Oxygen toxicity" http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/me...p?articleid=51
and "behavioral effects" http://rubicon-foundation.org/RRR_reading.html#Drug

Also, nasal spray has a wicked rebound reaction in the nasal passages, and when it wears off, your sinuses can close off very tightly. If you happen to be at depth, you are in for some serious pain...reverse block, and maybe some other damage.

As for swelling Eustachian tubes post dive... Motrin is an anti inflammatory. (But it may mask symptoms of DCS) For every benefit you can derive from meds, there are consequences. The doctors that I have asked will not recommend any meds pre dive because of the unknown.

A note - that DAN (Divers Alert Network) is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help with questions like this. If you dive, it would be well worth getting the DAN insurance. (I am not sponsored, paid or employed by DAN)
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Old 07-30-2007, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: After SCUBA Ear Problems

Final doc visit was last Friday. Problem verified by the cat scan is my e-tubes. Doc say to start taking Nasacort AQ (triamcinolone acetonide) six weeks prior to diving. Two squirts up the nostrils once every day. Told me not to dive again until my ears are at 100%. If my ears give me problems again he says to give up diving.

He also said the sudafed and motrin regime should only be used during this recovery period, not pre-dive.

Hope the next time out things go well. My cert dives we had lots of other "tasks" to deal with, including strong current, instructor wanted to get us down under it on two of the dives, think I rushed the equalization and hurt my ears...that dive I had to go up 10+ feet (we were only in 25) and had a miserable time trying to equalize. Went up and down about five times before I got it.

My next dive I will hang on the anchor rode and take my sweet ol time to the bottom. Hope it works out.



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Old 08-15-2007, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: After SCUBA Ear Problems

Ludicrous;

Tom O'Leary's advice is pretty sound.

Basically, if you feel pressure building in your ears as you descend, you're waiting too long to equalize. If you feel pain, you've waited way too long.

I think at least part of what you experienced is due to barotrauma: you stressed the tissues in your ears, which responded by swelling. That caused the blockage that made you feel as if you were wearing earplugs.

Hope you resolve your problems;

jky
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: After SCUBA Ear Problems

When I said sudafed I did not recommend it in the presence of disease just as an additive to help clear but timing is critical when using any of these stimulate type drugs and diving. I read those abstracts and I do not see any significant finding that would contradict using pseudoephrine and diving. Since this will be read by people with no medical training I must add that you should not dive with a drug in you that you have not had experience with before weither that drug is a decongestant or for motion sickness. I happen to need a great deal of help in order to clear effectively so I use a steriod nasally chronically along with zytec,and these drugs only when I dive asterlin, sudafed and a nasal decongestant. A nasal spray should never be used long term. I realize that this regimen is not typical but after many years of trail and error it has proven appropriate for me.
Waterdog is right rebound can be worse than no treatment at all so timing for best effect is critical so if you can not pay attention then stay away from oral and especially topical decongestants
Diving and clearing can be a major problem best handled by an understanding ENT. Clear often and it is easier.
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:07 AM
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Default Re: After SCUBA Ear Problems

Ive been a civillian contractor for the army rescue diving everyday for a couple years now. Work with ex-navy dive medics, corpman etc. We see this problem frequently, and I also have the problems alot. When your diving for 6 hours a day, it takes a toll on you. First don't use swimmers ear much. It just dries the water in the inner and doesnt kill any bacteria. Also if you use it every time, the alchohol will mush your ear drum. You want to use 50% Alchohol and 50% white vinegar. The vinegar kills bacteria. Also it sounds crazy but when you dive put little cloves of garlic in your ear. This will pull all contaminations and wax from the ear. I don't know how it works but it does. Your post dive, when you pull the cloves out, they will be black! Pretty nasty. And always clear before the pressure starts. Did the ENT scope your nose? You could have a deviated septum which is not allowing your sinuses and eustation tube to drain correctly.
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