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Doc says i have negative ear drum pressure - what does this mean?

Discussion in 'Diving Medicine' started by Muzzman, May 8, 2012.

  1. Muzzman

    Muzzman Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location:
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    I went diving yesterday off of Alona Beach in the Philippines and as usual i experienced problems equalising, the dive instructor said they have a really good Doctor in the nearest big town and i should go and see him. Our next stop is Thailand and he said this guy was better than i'd probably find there.

    I waited for 4 hours and got to see him, he looked at my ears and up my nose and pointed out i had mild congestion which i hadn't realised.

    He then did a pressure test on my ears and said that the reason i have trouble diving is that my ear drums have negative pressure, the left which i have the most trouble with is -38 and right -20.

    He prescribe, Phenylpropanol HCI, Cerfuroxime Axetil and Loratadine Betamethasone, one is to stop middle ear infection, one a decongestant and i'm unsure about the third.

    I tried to question him some more but he was really busy with a hundred people still waiting to see him so i couldn't get any useful information from him.

    Am i buggered with this negative pressure, i completed the dive yesterday but it wasn't any fun because of the pain i was in, i managed to equalise just enough to stop aborting the dive. I've tried googling but am still in the dark on what i can do. I've never found it easy diving but it's getting worse as time goes on.

    He said give it a couple of days before i dive, so i'll give it another go on Friday
     
  2. AfterDark

    AfterDark Solo Diver

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    You should post this in the Diving Medicine Forum.
     
  3. Muzzman

    Muzzman Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location:
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    Sorry i did look for a more appropriate place but couldn't see one, i wasn't looking at sub forums, tried to edit and move but no luck, if someone wants to move it it would be appreciated
     
  4. Davemohio

    Davemohio Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Columbus OH USA
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    No worries, Muzzman.

    I have asked that this be moved to dive medicine. There are some knowledgeable folks here who can reply.

    I have no medical training BTW..have had lots of ear issues though.

    Frankly, I have never heard of the negative ear pressure thing before. Interesting though.

    IMHO if you experience ANY pain, I would not dive until it clears up.

    Dave.
     
    AfterDark likes this.
  5. AfterDark

    AfterDark Solo Diver

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    I thought you'd get more "qualified" responses there. I have no idea what the doctor is saying. Sounds to me like your head might implode! :) Just kidding. Good luck.
     
  6. Pedro Burrito

    Pedro Burrito Moderator Staff Member

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    ** MOD POST: **

    Moved to Dive Medicine
     
  7. t-mac

    t-mac BKK Divers

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: VA, USA
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    Loratadine is an antihistamine, which will dry your head out and help with the congestion. Never heard of negative ear pressure, but I with the drugs you've been Rxed, it sounds like the doc thinks its due to the congestion (possibly caused by an infection). Unless you have a structural problem, it may be that when you swallow you create a vacuum in the Eustachian tube because the congestion seals it back up and and prevents it from equalizing. In the end, though ,whether you have positive or negative ear pressure seems to me to be irrelevant. The point is that something is keeping you from equalizing. Again, the doc appears to think this is congestion, which perhaps can be controlled with the meds, but if this is an ongoing problem you should see an ENT. Certainly you want to be careful with these meds and diving. Phenylpropanolamine can increase your heartrate and blood pressure, for example, and that can lead to a some nastiness when diving if you aren't careful. Preferably see a doc with diving knowledge.
     
  8. DocVikingo

    DocVikingo Senior Member Staff Member

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    It's a condition where negative pressure forms behind the ear drum causing it to bulge inward; also termed retracted ear drum. Equalizing the middle ear space usually corrects it.

    Regards,

    DocVikingo
     
  9. t-mac

    t-mac BKK Divers

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: VA, USA
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  10. Muzzman

    Muzzman Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location:
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    Thanks chaps, all i know is that i've done 30 - 40 dives in 9 years and every one has been a struggle. I kept meaning to see an ENT specialist at home but never got round to it seeing how infrequently i dived. Now i'm on a years trip visiting some awesome dive destinations i'm regretting that decision. I really hope i'm not going to have to give up diving as it's one of the experiences i really would like to take back home with me at the end of he trip.Bloody ears!!!
     

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