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

 


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

    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

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    AfterDark's Avatar
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    You should post this in the Diving Medicine Forum.
    "The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of forever". Jacques Cousteau
    "From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to Earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free." Jacques Yves Cousteau
    "The best time of day to dive is after dark". AfterDark
    "You know, three-fifths of the world is covered by the sea, and how little most of us know about that underwater world. Go below with us again next week". Huh? . "For another thrilling adventure in Sea Hunt." Lloyd Bridges

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    Quote Originally Posted by AfterDark View Post
    You should post this in the Diving Medicine Forum.
    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

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muzzman View Post
    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
    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.
    "The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of forever". Jacques Cousteau
    "From birth, man carries the weight of gravity on his shoulders. He is bolted to Earth. But man has only to sink beneath the surface and he is free." Jacques Yves Cousteau
    "The best time of day to dive is after dark". AfterDark
    "You know, three-fifths of the world is covered by the sea, and how little most of us know about that underwater world. Go below with us again next week". Huh? . "For another thrilling adventure in Sea Hunt." Lloyd Bridges

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    Moderator's Comments:
    Moved to Dive Medicine

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by t-mac View Post
    Never heard of negative ear pressure....
    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

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    Thanks, Doc. Makes sense. Just did a quick internet search and thought I'd post this for the OP to read: What Is a Retracted Eardrum?.

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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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