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Hi! I am new to this site but thought that I would try my luck with some unusual problems.
First--- Why am I so prone to significant ear infections only in the cold water? I have a history of multiple otitis media as a child, but none as an adult until I started diving. Since then I have had at least three or four a year when I dive cold. No similar problems when I dive in the Carribean.
Second, I have been diving in the Caribbean several times, and each time I have found that no matter where I am in my menstrual cycle I have at least two days of breakthrough bleeding. Usually after my third or fourth dive. This never happens when I dive in the cold, no matter how deep the dive. That seems to be the only common denominator I can see. I tend to dive deeper in the Caribbean. Any ideas?????
The ear observation is a new one to me. One possible reason could be that many people with ear equalizing troubles have mild allergies, and if the cold diving is done near home, it's also done near your usual allergens.
A second guess is that a cold head will have a dramatic increase in blood flow to keep the brain warm, and that can cause congestion and predispose to barotrauma. Perhaps a heavier hood?
The breakthough bleeding in the Caribbean is interesting.
I don't know of other cases like yours, but it's known from some studies that there are hormonal shifts occurring with brighter days and longer days.
It's not rare in Iowa for a woman around the time of menopause to have her periods disappear in winter and return in summer for a year or two, so clearly some shifts occur, but I don't think we know the cause with any certainty.
How's that for talking a lot and waffling on both counts?
first let me say I am NOT a doctor or in the medical field. However I have observed this several times, in both myself and other divers.
I have serious allergy problems and have taken many medications thru my life (last count was something like 27 different rx durring my life).
On my first open water checkout dives I had some interesting reservations about the instructor and the dive site. The water was in the mid 50's and several thermoclines. It was in a dam that had some murky nasty water. AS we went closer to the dive site the more my allergies acted up. At the dive site my allergies was so bad I could barely dive, but I did. Durring the dive they was so bad that I couldn't perform the skills and clear my mask. I had reverse blocks going on to. I ended up aborting the dive. On the way home the more distance we went the better my allergies became. I was on rx at the time.
A number of years later I learned that alot of these events was psychosomatic due, in part, to the reservations I had about the instructors, dive site, and conditions, plus other issues.
I've also had strange things that happened durring dives at various places and none of the medical doctors i've been to could explain what happened. It was like having symptoms but the cause is not present.
Guess what i'm trying to say is different dive sites are different and affects each of us differently. Some sites may envoke fears while others pleasure. I do know for a fact that these reactions we have plays a major roll in our current health at the time.