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Can Only Equalize One Ear

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by mkpelletier, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. MoonWrasse

    MoonWrasse Loggerhead Turtle

    Often I only have to ascend a meter or two to be able to equalize and continue descending. Also telling your DM/instructor/group/buddy ahead of time takes the pressure (NPI) off of you to keep up with them and thus reduces anxiety.
  2. JMcD

    JMcD Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ontario, Canada
    I am in much the same boat:

    I was in my second pool class last week and ended up slightly injuring my right ear.

    I also had trouble equalizing in my class, so ascended and tried to equalize, and bent my neck and wiggled my jaw and... you get the picture. My instructor was good in helping me work through the options, and I did eventually get to the bottom of the pool, but left the class with what I can only describe as what felt like a "tired" ear.

    I woke up 4 hours later with discomfort in my ear and the text of a bunch of SB posts streaming through my head... so off to emerg at 2:00 in the morning to have a doctor look in my ear and say "looks fine...no bulging... you may have some fluid in your ear" and sent me on my way.

    I still have very slight "full" feeling in my ear, but am at a loss to understand exactly what happened or what the issue is. I have no problems with flying - I can equalize by just shifting my jaw usually - so I know my ears will equalize... I just know that I am going to have to be patient, practice and find what works for me.

    In the meantime.... a bit of frustration (and a class in two days that I guess should be ok.... I see then.)

    I'll be reading with interest what others have discovered about their own equalizing techniques.
  3. MoonWrasse

    MoonWrasse Loggerhead Turtle

    Then slow down, try to descend on a buoy line (crawl down) or use a dive computer so you can gauge much finer your descent rate. Descent from 36,000 feet to sealevel is approximately the same pressure change from sealevel to 10-12 meters UW, except the planes take 10-15 minutes usually to do so. That works for me. Also try pre-pressurizing a tad just before descending.
  4. ScubaFreak

    ScubaFreak Instructor, Scuba

    Normally, if a student mentioned to me that they couldn't equalise one ear without any pain- I'd suggest that it's probably a blockage or build up of wax, like molksmith mentioned. But the fact that you have slight disorientation is a concern to me. Regardless if you can or cant equalise one of your ears, you should never feel dizzy or disoriented<sp?> as a result of being unable to equalise. But blowing forcefully is almost a guarantee to perforate a drum- and thats not good :06:
    I also don't believe that its an equalisation technique issue as you can pop one ear no problem, and that you have trouble doing it on land aswell!

    But don't hesitate to go to a doc, could just be that you need your ears syringed!

    good luck

  5. mkpelletier

    mkpelletier Garibaldi

    My last and final confined water dive was two nights ago. With everything you guys told me, the information I've read off of other sites on the net.. I was off to the dive shop to talk to my dive master. When I got home I also called my best friends dad, who just happens to have his doctorate in hyperbaric medicine. Jumped in the pool the next night and I tried just about everything. Tipping my head back, side to side, swallowing, pinching, blowing.. the whole deal. Within a few minutes of fighting with it I was laying on the bottom of the pool doffing and donning my BC and was worry free. I have a feeling I was blowing too hard without knowing any better... a definite case of round window (I think)... it couldn't have been too bad though. The temperature indifference was the cause for the vertigo upon reaching surface. Thus, I no longer blow... or certainly not nearly as hard.

    In any case thank you all so much, some of the tips I got off of this thread was surely the cause for success. Thanks guys.

  6. lundysd

    lundysd Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    This has happened to me on several occassions; my first resort dive ended in me feeding the fish because the vertigo was so bad. More recently, my OW pool work left me disoriented about one time in three, with some times being worse than others. These events are separated by over a year and I am almost positive that I have not injured myself on these multiple trips; a DM explained that he gets the same thing and that the vertigo can simply be caused by the pressure differences of unequal clearing. I have a feeling that it's merely a matter of having unequal clearance pressures for my eustachian tubes, though I guess I should have my ears checked.


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