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Ear Plugs?

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by jenmichigan, Dec 1, 2000.

  1. jenmichigan

    jenmichigan Nassau Grouper

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    I was wondering about pro plugs. I don't have problems with ear infections but do have trouble clearing from time to time. I was wondering if anyone has used them? Did it make a significant difference in clearing? Do we know what the effects are if the plugs comes out while at depth?

    I hope someone here has used them and can help me out. I believe the url was http://www.proplugs.com

     
  2. Mario S Caner

    Mario S Caner Member

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: San Diego, CA
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    Though I haven't used them personally a good friend of mine who is an instructor trainer swears by them... he's recommended them to me several times (because I don't like using a hood) but I don't like the idea of having them in my ears either. Perhaps at DEMA I'll go ahead and pick some up and give em a go.

    Mario
     
  3. dsudiver

    dsudiver Guest

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    when i did my cert. dives in monterey i had trouble clearing. when i was doing my pool training i seemed to be doing it right (my instructer never said anything). but when i got to monterey i had problems clearing. i think the problem was me not doing it soon enough (before i needed too). Mario, do you think that is the case and if so do you think this could be the problem jenmichigan is having?

    what is the deal with earplugs anyway? are the suposed to make it to were you don't have to clear?

    -dsudiver
     
  4. jenmichigan

    jenmichigan Nassau Grouper

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    Dsudiver,

    I have been diving for ten years now and have had problems clearing right from the start. It's just something I've learned to deal with. I've tried many different techniques such as clearing as soon as possible, tipping head, yawning and on the suggestions go.

    I heard about these earplugs and put the link to the site so others that didn't know about them could also investigate. They don't stop the need for clearing but some say that they seem to make clearing easier. I was hoping to find someone that has used them and could confirm or deny this. I was also very curious if for some reason the earplugs were to get kicked out of your ear at depth what would happen?

    Mario,

    When your friend recommended them did he say anything about ease of clearing or was it about not getting the cold water in your ears?

    Jennifer,
    http://www.MichiganShipwrecks.com


     
  5. dsudiver

    dsudiver Guest

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    Jennifer, I'm pretty new to diving and would like to try these ear plugs. Are you saying that there may be a danger to useing them, due to the possibility that they may fall out at depth?

    By the way, I took a gander at your website. Very cool!

    -dsudiver
     
  6. jenmichigan

    jenmichigan Nassau Grouper

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    dsudiver,

    Thanks for the compliment on the web-site. We are trying hard to make it easy to use with as much Great Lakes information as we can.

    The danger part is what I'm mostly curious about. I don't know if the earplugs are in some way blocking some of the pressure? If they are blocking some of the pressure if they were to get accidentally kicked out or fall out the squeeze would either be awful or do damage. ?? That's more my concern with them than anything. I will probably end up getting a pair and trying them at shallow depths first.

    I definately don't want to knock the product or assume (we all know what happens when we ass-u-me) anything until I know for sure.

    Jennifer
    http://www.MichiganShipwrecks.com

     
  7. Mario S Caner

    Mario S Caner Member

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: San Diego, CA
    1,803
    4
    0
    Jen,
    An earplug falling out wouldn't cause any danger regardless of where it may fall out. I really can't see that they could possibly assist in clearing either...

    What they do help with is keeping most of the nasty water that flushes through your ear out, and therefore reducing infections. In fact that's what they use as their primary advertising angle. They show diagrams of the typical "swimmers" ear and that of a swimmer that uses their product. Since they are perforated, you will be able to clear, but in my opinion that would slow it down even more. For someone like me whom can race the ancor down to the depths, they would probably be perfect. For someone whom takes a few minutes to get equalized, it would require a buddy with a little more patience.

    Mario
     
  8. BillP

    BillP Senior Member

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    Hi Jennifer:

    I haven't personally tried the Doc's Proplugs, but I have looked at them. The version of the plugs that are sold for diving are "vented" meaning that they have a hole in the middle allowing water to enter your ear canal so you can equalize.

    The best theory that I've heard on how they might help you equalize is because they slow the pressure changes when you descend. Not sure if that makes a lot of sense. They might have an important placebo effect, but that's just speculation on my part. I wouldn't think that having the plugs fall out at depth and causing barotrauma from rapid pressure changes would be a big problem. They are vented, and seems like they would be unlikely to fall out on descent because if there is a pressure gradient it will be pushing them into the ear, and the pressure gradient on ascent when the ear canal is already full of water won't be great enough to make a difference. You could try them and see if they help you equalize. If they do, great.

    The idea that they would reduce the risk of ear infections by keeping dirty water out of your ear canals seems suspect to me. The diving plugs are vented, so they don't keep the water out. Hmmm....

    The claim that the plugs might reduce ear canal problems by keeping out cold water makes the most sense to me. Cold water can stimulate the growth of boney growths in the ear canal called exostoses. These growths can narrow the ear canal leading to problems. Seems like the plugs might reduce the amount of water that is exchanged in the ear canal during the dive giving your body time to warm the water (kinda like a wetsuit). They might make some sense for cold water divers. (But if you're already wearing a hood in cold water, I don't know just how much water is being exchanged during the dive and how much difference the plugs would make?)

    HTH,

    Bill
     
  9. jenmichigan

    jenmichigan Nassau Grouper

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    Bill,

    Thank you very much for your response. All of your ideas make a lot of sense. I will probably end up buying a pair since they are only ten bucks and giving them a whirl. Probably on a shallow dive first just to get aquainted with them. I will be sure to post my findings on the board.

    P.S. The placebo effect is very good thought. One that I didn't come up with.

    Jennifer,
    http://www.MichiganShipwrecks.com
     
  10. zeN||

    zeN|| Barracuda

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    Actually a hood filters the water of large particles; I don't see how these plugs could have holes in them small enough to strain bacteria and still allow you to clear, just a thought zeN||
     

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