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getting water out of ears

Discussion in 'Diving Medicine' started by jbilicska, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. jbilicska

    jbilicska Barracuda

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    What's the best solution for getting water out of your ears after a dive ?
    Thanks in advance.

    Joe B
    :coffee: :coffee:
     
  2. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
    11,377
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    Hi Joe,

    Here's the first thing you need to know... http://home.gwi.net/~spectrum/scuba_ears.html
    This will usually draw out any stubborn water while preventing bigger problems.

    Another remedy you can try right at the dive site is to point the stuffy ear down and then jump up and down on one foot.

    Pete
     
  3. jbilicska

    jbilicska Barracuda

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    Thanks for answering so quickly Pete . I'll be sure to make up a batch for our next trip. My wife likes to use peroxide but I'll stick to this one.
    Joe B
     
  4. spectrum

    spectrum Dive Bum Wannabe ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: The Atlantic Northeast (Maine)
    11,377
    818
    113
    Hydrogen peroxide is an outgrowth of the home remedy use as a wound disinfectant. In reality it does not address the 2 key issues facing wet saturated ears.

    In any case be sure that hydrogen peroxide is fresh and properly stored. Most of what is sitting around in medicine cabinets has long ago disassociated back to being plain old water.

    Pete
     
  5. Gene_Hobbs

    Gene_Hobbs Instructor, Scuba

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    Here is the DAN article on ear care.

    A Prophylactic Program for the Prevention of Otitis Externa in Saturation Divers.
    Thalmann, 1974
    RRR ID: 3372

    and another on Otic Domeboro:
    In vitro efficacy of Otic Domeboro against Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
    Dibb, 1985
    RRR ID: 3012

    All also found in this thread. Great posts from DocVikingo there.
     
  6. Bruce3

    Bruce3 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: southern cally
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    this sounds crazy but i would just pour more water into my ear and then shake my head. 9/10 times the water will just fly out all together and ive NEVER had an ear infection oh yeah i aslo did 4 years of water polo and swim in high school. did the same technique there for water in the ear.
     
  7. Charlie99

    Charlie99 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Silicon Valley, CA / New Bedford, MA / Kihei, Maui
    7,966
    158
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    That works most of the time for me too. I think the added water hooks up with the stubborn trapped drop, and then the drop gets pulled out of the ear when you dump out the newly added water.

    Sometimes I'll take a piece of soft kleenex, roll it a bit so it becomes a soft 1 or 1-1/2" probe and use that to wick out the water.

    There are also commercial preparations Swim-Ear and AuriDry (sp?) that are 95% isopropyl alchol and 5% glycerin. Pouring them briefly into the ear usually takes care of trapped water.

    If you avoid trapping water in the ears, then you are less likely to have problems. I am particularly careful about drying out my ears when doing multiple days of diving in a very warm humid place where things don't dry out very quickly.

    The above are all about removing that irritating chunk of water that just doesn't want to leave the ear. That's a different issue than soaking the ear for 5 minutes with alcohol and vinegar solution to prevent infection.

    Both removing excess water, and 5 minute soaks with alcohol and vinegar are useful.
     
  8. DandyDon

    DandyDon Old men ought to be explorers ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: One kilometer high on the Texas Central Plains
    48,897
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    DocVikingo had a new article published in the DAN magazine - nice, expanded discussion - including why high alcohol or hydrogen peroxide can be bad. I use 50-50 alcohol-vinegar, but it was interesting to see him recommend 33-33-33 mix including distilled water. The most recent issue, I think - not yet on their web site.
     
  9. fisherdvm

    fisherdvm Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location:
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    Never use a Q tip. However, I break the rule about "never put anything smaller than your elbow into your ear."

    I use a small wick made of tissue paper. Either a twisted up Kleenex or any tissue will do. Twist the corner to make a small 1/16 inch strand. Steadily thread it into your ear canal. It is too soft to cause pain or injure your ear drum. Do this once or twice, and your ear will dry out quickly.

    Lack of moisture will kill any bacteria, yeast or fungus in your ear. But I agree with the above... Once you get home, certainly rinsing it out with clean water, and repeat the wicking process will assure any strange bugs (pseudomonas) you've picked up from the local pond will get washed out.
     
  10. Charlie99

    Charlie99 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Silicon Valley, CA / New Bedford, MA / Kihei, Maui
    7,966
    158
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    An easy way to drop the percentage of alcohol a bit without having to use distilled water is to simply use "rubbing alcohol". Isopropyl alcohol at drug store comes in two varieties, 70% and 90+%. Just use the 70% variety, aka rubbing alcohol, in a 50/50 mixture with vinegar if you want to reduce the alcohol percentage.
     

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