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ear tubes and diving???

Discussion in 'Diving Medicine' started by divemistress, May 2, 2006.

  1. divemistress

    divemistress Instructor, Scuba

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    has anyone ever had ear tubes and returned to diving after they fell out/were removed? in theory it's possible; in practice ....

    nearly four months ago i contracted twin middle ear infections. three courses of antibiotics and two bags of balloons later -- if you want to know about THAT, msg me privately :), my head still feels like it's going to explode, i can't hear a thing, and everyone snaps at me to SPEAK UP!!

    so next week i'm getting ear tubes. meaning no diving for awhile. there's no real downside, of course, since i can't dive now. but will i ever dive again? supposedly that depends on whether the tubes perforate the ear drums -- not uncommon, from what i read. if i understand what i read.

    anyone have any better information?
     
  2. DocVikingo

    DocVikingo Senior Member Staff Member

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    Hi Divemistress,

    Sounds most unpleasant.

    Ear tubes, also known as ventilation, myringotomy and tympanostomy tubes, are commonly used in persons with complaints such as yours. They are designed to assist in relieving middle ear fluid and infection. A small incision is made in the ear drum and then the tube inserted.

    Hopefully symptoms will decrease and hearing improve very soon after the procedure. A sample of fluid from the middle ear may be taken and examined for unwanted organisms.

    Depending on the particulars of the case, the tubes may be left in place until they fall out on their own or the doctor may remove them. Provided that the ear drum heals appropriately, which is to be expected, there should be no issue in diving again.

    Of course diving is out while the tubes are in place and until an ENT approves return to scuba.

    Helpful?

    This is educational only and does not constitute or imply a doctor-patient relationship. It is not medical advice to you or any other individual and should not be construed as such.

    Regards,

    DocVikingo
     
  3. Missdirected

    Missdirected Guest

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa
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    I don't really know much. All I can say is my son had tubes in his ears. They fell out and now he dives. He has absolutely no problems whatsoever with his ears and he has been diving for a few years now.
     
  4. fairybasslet

    fairybasslet Photographer

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Stuck in the middle with you
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    No experience with tubes, but just want to wish you luck. I can identify with the ear problems. But I consider myself lucky. After an ear infection and clogged ears and not being able to hear for almost a month, I think my ears are finally better. I have a follow up visit to my ENT on Sat. I wish you luck!!
     
  5. Cacia

    Cacia Divemaster

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    For what it is worth....

    I don't let my young son dive because through the course of his ear history, he lost some hearing. I am too worried that he could lose more by diving. Maybe I am being hypervigilant but I don't want to risk it. If he opts for it when he is older, that will be okay. I am not convinced he would be prudent if he had ear pain down there...he is a bit "insensate" from what I observe at the skateboard park.

    He cries and begs me all the time....I just do not think it is a wise idea for a twelve year old boy who does not seem tuned into subtle pain.
     
  6. fairybasslet

    fairybasslet Photographer

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Stuck in the middle with you
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    LOL. And my kid is just the opposite. The tiny little scratch was cause for hystrionics. Now that he's 16, he sucks it up a bit more.
     

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