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cek88
August 16th, 2005, 02:27 PM
My BF and I got our OW cert. dives in this weekend and now he says he feels like his ears are still clogged. He's tried equalizing and put some of those "swimmer's ear" drops in his ears but nothing has helped. Is this common and is there anything he can do about them?

captnkurt
August 16th, 2005, 02:31 PM
Maybe call the doctor!!??

pipedope
August 16th, 2005, 02:45 PM
Lots of things can cause this.

It is a good idea to get checked by a Dr if the problem persists more than a couple of days.

While waiting to see the Dr go to;
http://faculty.washington.edu/ekay/
and watch the streaming video, "The Diver's Ear - Under Pressure"

It wil answer a lot of questions and give you more ways to equalize and ways to prevent problems int he future.

VaDiver
August 16th, 2005, 03:25 PM
This is not an uncommon problem that has been covered many times, I'm sure.

Am in my third year of diving and it seems as if I spent my entire first year figuring out how to solve the waterlogged ear situation. My first dive trip for my OW cert resulted in clogged ears that turned into an ear infection that required a doctor's visit, some antibiotics and ear drops to knock out.

Experienced divers turned me on to a homemade earwash made up of 1/2 distilled white vinegar and 1/2 rubbing alcohol. Use it the same way you use the Swimmer's Ear solution and it should help. Now, my procedure after every dive (while still on the boat) is to flush with Swimmer's Ear, then use the vinegar/alcohol solution when I get back to the room. Basically, I let the solution sit in each ear for a few minutes then let it drain out. Sometimes repeating the process. Might be overkill but I tend to over do things anyway and it has helped tremendously.

The other thing you can do is take note of which head positions tend to cause your ears to fill up and try to avoid them. For example, if I do a backward roll off the side of the boat and flip completely over, my ears will fill up. So, now I make sure I don't flip completely over.

If you are prone to ear problems you may not eliminate them completely but hopefully these ideas might help.

rottielover
August 16th, 2005, 04:55 PM
Is it 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 rubbing alcohol ? I was always told 1 part vinegar to 2 parts alcohol ???

Anyone have the "recipie"?

spectrum
August 16th, 2005, 06:53 PM
My physician advised 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 rubbing alchohol. Lay on your side put a few drops into an ear canal until it's muffled and let it stand for a full 5 minutes, no cheating. Roll over and do the other ear.

Some navy studies revealed the 5 minute need.

Throwing in a drop or 2 and walking away isn't doing much more than cleaning the hair in your ears.

The treatment will prevent swimers ear and will also help dry out residual water since alchohol will combine with water to carry it out. Much like drygas for you northerners.

As explained by my physician the alchohol will serve to kill off nasty organisims and also provides a drying function.

The vinegar also makes life miserable for critters in there and helps restore the natural acidic condition in the ear.

Swimmers ear is usually not a product of the swimming water. It comes from normally occuring organisims in the ear that multiply out of contol in a wet no acid post dive ear.

The above treatment should be done at the end of every dive (skin, scuba, swim, whatever) day. It can be quite relaxing if done spooning with your S.O.

Pete

Michael_Lambert
August 16th, 2005, 07:30 PM
Yup,

I just went through this, Went swimming.. acouple of days later it felt blocked.. ignored it.. then it started to throb! went to the doctors and found i had external ear infection got some drops .. 7 days later gone

blowin_bubbles
August 16th, 2005, 08:50 PM
Hey Spectrum - Thanks for adding the logic behind the recipe, always good to know the "why" before you start pouring a home-made conncoction into your ears (precious as they are! ) ..........

recently i also heard a recommendation for ear candleing ..... i haven't tried it yet, but it sounds like a lot of trouble to perform on a boat unless it is a sleepy live-aboard, but maybe it would help your ears be in overall better condition PRIOR to the dive? not sure.

???

shaggie
August 16th, 2005, 09:01 PM
My (none diving) MD sugested 50/50 Hydrogenperoxide and water. It makes alot of fizzies in your ear, but I think I'll try the vinegar and water next time. Oh, those ear infections hurt!

offroaddiver
August 16th, 2005, 09:37 PM
My father gets swimmer's ear really bad. If you rinse with a solution of isoprophyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and distilled white vinegar before you get in the water is appears to help. If your ears don't "feel" dry put the solution in each ear for several minutes. Usually it's 5 minutes on each side once but when he had a sinus infection he did it 3 times each side. Sometimes if it's really bad he would use a weaker mix of around 50% total alcohol.
A friend uses a 2:1 alcohol and vinegar was before goin into salt water. All this does for him is to help clear the wax out and his ears drain better for him. My doctor doesn't want me to dive since "it's a dangerous sport". Allegedly his good friend died on his 3rd dive ever when his lungs over expanded. I just tell him to think of me as a skateboarder that wears knee pads then.

spstar
August 17th, 2005, 12:25 AM
I have been using the 60/40 alcohol and vinegar for about a year now after every dive.
I did a search on swimmers ear and came across the recipe on a web site it works great for getting the water out. I use an old childrens Tylenol bottle with a eye dropper built in the lid. Made a label with my label maker and keep it in my Plano accessory box with all my other supplies

shaggie
August 17th, 2005, 12:58 AM
I've heard Bacardi 151 and a match works to!

RonFrank
August 17th, 2005, 01:33 AM
My BF and I got our OW cert. dives in this weekend and now he says he feels like his ears are still clogged. He's tried equalizing and put some of those "swimmer's ear" drops in his ears but nothing has helped. Is this common and is there anything he can do about them?

My ears felt water logged, and that lasted for many days afterward. I even went an purchased some docs proplugs. I've never used them, and have never had issues since. That was 30+ dives ago as deep as 117fsw.

I had a lot of problems equalizing in my OW classes, and I believe it was because I was basically trying to do so to late. Now I generally equalize the entire decent. During my Key Largo dives, I was the boat spotter for our little team (my cuz stayed down) and my decents were head down as fast as I could swim equalizing all the way. The key, equalize early, and often, just like PADI or whomever will tell you, but maybe most don't take that to heart.

I've had zero issues since OW, and while if this condition persists see a doctor, your mate may have just had a case of what I had which was EQ problems that resulted in issues with the ears that can be prevented by good EQ for future dives.

ScubaSarus
August 17th, 2005, 06:53 AM
What does the vinegar do in the ear solution ? I know alcohol helps to dry things.

m3830431
August 17th, 2005, 07:52 AM
My BF and I got our OW cert. dives in this weekend and now he says he feels like his ears are still clogged. He's tried equalizing and put some of those "swimmer's ear" drops in his ears but nothing has helped. Is this common and is there anything he can do about them?


Stand on one leg and vigorously shake the other. It helps to hold on to something. ;)

scubatoys
August 17th, 2005, 08:14 AM
What does the vinegar do in the ear solution ? I know alcohol helps to dry things.

Vinegar is 5% acetic acid solution. The ocean is very "base" (opposite of acid) so getting acid back in helps. You will see some commercial ear washes use alcohol and boric acid, and some will toss in some glycerin just to soften up the mix.

But the vinegar alcohol in any mix is probably one of the best. Handy to keep the vinegar around too incase you get stung by anything. Jellies, fire coral, etc... soak with vinegar. You'll smell like a salad... but it will stop most ocean stings.

ScubaSarus
August 17th, 2005, 09:45 AM
I actually put a drop of peroxide in the ear especially when clogged with fresh water. No harm done so far and enjoy the fizzling sensation.

Santa
August 17th, 2005, 09:52 AM
recently i also heard a recommendation for ear candleing ..... i haven't tried it yet, but it sounds like a lot of trouble to perform on a boat unless it is a sleepy live-aboard, but maybe it would help your ears be in overall better condition PRIOR to the dive? not sure.

???[/QUOTE]

Uhm ... whats candling?

Regards

ScubaSarus
August 17th, 2005, 02:36 PM
Just a note on ear candeling (ear conning). Take a wax cone place it in ear light on fire creating vaccuum that supposed to suck up stuff out of the ear.

Following is from a discussion board:

: Has anyone ever tried candleing their ears with ear cones or candles? I have problems with ears being plugged due to fluid in the middle ear. I have had tubes. They have fallen out now. I also have ringing in the left ear and it has been there for over a year. It changes pitches. Have you ever heard of that? I have heard of ear candleing and thought I might give it a try. Any suggestions?

My husband has seen ear candling at work and has several co-workers who use it often. He tried it at home with some success. It will not help with ear fluid though I can tell you that. Only tubes and/or antibiotics can help with that and if that doesn't work you will probably wind up with permanent hearing loss. I say this from personal expierence. I had fluid post measles as a child and they tried everything to get rid of it but nothing worked. I would suggest you see your ENT doctor and let him prescribe the best type of treatment for you ear problems. Fluid in the ears is not something you want to try to handle on your own since you risk permanent hearing loss. Good luck.

SteveFass
August 17th, 2005, 10:23 PM
ce28 - I get the same thing every time I go diving. The ear solutions don't do anything for me. I'm water logged and lasts for at least a week every time. Last time I dove I tried a decongestant pill for a day or so and that seemed to do the trick. Or it went away by itself again.

m3830431
August 18th, 2005, 07:52 AM
?

m3830431
August 18th, 2005, 07:53 AM
Last and only time my ears actually cogged with water was in the shower with my head turned perpendicular to the head. Nothing work but a good ear cleaning at the doctor.

They pumped warm baby stool softner to dissolve the wax, which is there to protect you ear from water.

Some people have larger wax buildup that could be a problem.

shaggie
August 18th, 2005, 08:06 AM
I've had problems with one ear constantly feeling itchy and wet internaly for quite along time now. Three ear infections and several trips to the doctor, who said (aside from the infections) there's nothing wrong, I tried the vinegar and alchohol yesterday. So far so good! That drive you insane, itchy sensation is all but gone.

thanx

ranger979
August 18th, 2005, 09:07 AM
I have the same problem with my ears feeling clogged for several days. I have found that the swimmer's ear product or the solutions previously mentioned prevent the problem. However, the key is to put it in right after I have finished diving. If I forget and put it in a 1/2 hour or hour later it normally doesn't do any good.

oceancrest67
August 18th, 2005, 09:54 AM
This topic has been covered many times before. I have been diving for 11 years and I learned my lesson in the first few months of diving...in and out of pools and quarries...good recipe for a bad ear infection. Since then, I have relied on an ear solution...Star Otic or Swimmers Ear...both help in drying out the excess water after diving etc. A bad ear infection can lay plans and vacations to waste...so be wary and stay vigilant.

Just my 02.

TCDiver1
August 18th, 2005, 10:23 AM
My BF and I got our OW cert. dives in this weekend and now he says he feels like his ears are still clogged. He's tried equalizing and put some of those "swimmer's ear" drops in his ears but nothing has helped. Is this common and is there anything he can do about them?

Can he still equalize (pop) the ear in question?

If he can, it might mean he has a bacterial thing growin on in the outer ear. Thats the idea behind vinegar, boric acid, etc in swimmers ear mixes & homebrews. As Larry said, they take the outer ear more acidic. Bacteria has a harder time growing in an acidic vs base environment. The straight alcohol mixes only aid in drying the ear canal up, they do little if anything to fight bacterial growth.

Also if you think it might be an infection, have a Doctor check him out, and ask for some samples of "Ciprodex" drops. It works great for clearing up infections in the outer ear. I just went through a bad ear infection last month that my homebrew mix would not clear up like it usually does. Couple days on Ciprodex cleared it right up.

Ciprodex is prescription only though so make sure you get your Docs okay before you use any. And its expensive, like 7ish dollars a ml, so samples will make your pocketbook much happier.

If he can't equalize the ear and the clogged thing persists, he should absolutely get a Doc to check it out. Better safe than sorry.

Santa
August 18th, 2005, 05:37 PM
[QUOTE=ScubaSarus]Just a note on ear candeling (ear conning). Take a wax cone place it in ear light on fire creating vaccuum that supposed to suck up stuff out of the ear.

QUOTE]

It just sounds really exotic to me ;0) I'm sure it'll make an evening more interesting but is this like a medically approved thing to do?

Maybe I don't get it. How does the vacuum occur, again?

discrepancy
August 28th, 2005, 06:07 AM
Stand on one leg and vigorously shake the other. It helps to hold on to something. ;)

Ahh..the old swimmer's ear problem...

Depending on the shape and size of your ears, this can be a nagging problem for those of us who choose to spend lots of time in the water.

Two solutions:

1. Kinetic. In line with the quote above, grab a solid item of furniture to balance yourself. Tilt the affected ear towards terra firma, keep it like that and hop repeatedly on the leg on the same side as the problem ear. You will look like a complete dork, but usually two or three jumps and the trapped water will come gushing out all in one hit.

2. Chemical. Use the vinegar and alcohol fix mentioned previously. My suspicion is that this concoction works by reducing the surface tension of the water trapped in the aural passages, thus allowing it to flow out more easily. Drop the vinegar/alcohol into the ear, tip your head up to let the solution penetrate for a few minutes, then do the hopping dance with your clogged ear pointed down.

If neither approach works, best to see your doctor because the trapped water can lead to infection. With the delicate parts involved, you don't want this to go on too long.

For myself, I find the hopping on one leg works 99%, especially if you catch it early. If that doesn't do the trick and the water stays trapped for more than a day, I give it the vinegar and alcohol squirt, followed by more dorky dancing. The combination has always worked for me, but I have known people who needed a medical consultation to clear infections. Best not to let it get to that point.

wgasa
August 28th, 2005, 06:50 AM
Acetasol [spelling ?]has been used by the military for 20 years.It is a mixture of mineral oil & acetic acid.The oil forces water away from eardrum and the acid puts the ear back to normal ph.Peroxide is a alternative it will remove water but will not correct ph.

cmcloughlin
August 28th, 2005, 03:20 PM
Is it 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 rubbing alcohol ? I was always told 1 part vinegar to 2 parts alcohol ???

Anyone have the "recipie"?


I have always used 1/2 and 1/2.
Now that I thhink of it I only got this problem in the first 2 tears of diving (20 years ago).
I don't seem to get it anymore.
Chris

serambin
August 28th, 2005, 03:28 PM
My physician advised 1/2 white vinegar and 1/2 rubbing alchohol. Lay on your side put a few drops into an ear canal until it's muffled and let it stand for a full 5 minutes, no cheating. Roll over and do the other ear.

Some navy studies revealed the 5 minute need.

Throwing in a drop or 2 and walking away isn't doing much more than cleaning the hair in your ears.

The treatment will prevent swimers ear and will also help dry out residual water since alchohol will combine with water to carry it out. Much like drygas for you northerners.

As explained by my physician the alchohol will serve to kill off nasty organisims and also provides a drying function.

The vinegar also makes life miserable for critters in there and helps restore the natural acidic condition in the ear.

Swimmers ear is usually not a product of the swimming water. It comes from normally occuring organisims in the ear that multiply out of contol in a wet no acid post dive ear.

The above treatment should be done at the end of every dive (skin, scuba, swim, whatever) day. It can be quite relaxing if done spooning with your S.O.

Pete


Most drug stores carry two isopropyl alcohol strengths. Use the 91% and not the 70 % in most 'rubbing alcohol'.

gecko2gecko
August 28th, 2005, 03:52 PM
,No wax come in the ream off my ears wail i dive better a layofcapuls,well there is there are the story from those that used Atelarie Earprortecionstiks of our WEU standart by diving they all had gone ti die out there ,not my matter ,gues what it is by your self so,its normal ....7*

HUH??? :06:


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