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Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Jason Jezik, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. Angelo Farina

    Angelo Farina Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Parma, ITALY
    As said, in a pressure chamber and not breathing from a scuba system I think that the most effective equalization method is Frenzel. The most easy to learn is Valsalva, although less effective, as lungs cannot create a pressure grater than 50 cm water column, whilst compressing mechanically the air trapped in the nose using tongue and soft palate, with nose and mouth closed, can reach a pressure equivalent to more than one meter of water column.
    But everyone must experiment and find HIS optimal method, working well for him.
    In my case it is not Valsalva, nor Frenzel. It is simply using the Eustachian muscles, and resorting to Marcante-Odaglia if acting on the muscles is not enough...
  2. fish149

    fish149 Photographer

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: South West Ohio
    I'd also throw in some Alieve or other NSAID to reduce any inflammation which could also be contributing. I used to take 12 hr decongestants when diving with sinus congestion but now just Advil or Alieve
  3. Jason Jezik

    Jason Jezik Angel Fish

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: Bixby, OK
    Thanks for your candid feedback sir!
  4. uncfnp

    uncfnp Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina
    IF he is allowed and hopefully also has some experience with it so knows if it causes any problems for him, a single dose of pseudoephedrine prior to diving has been shown effective in novice divers. Like others have said, it needs to be the real stuff that you have to sign for and is kept behind the counter (its used in meth labs). I recommend and personally use the 12 hour version so it will last the dive but wear off for sleep. Sudafed D 12 hour or the generic version.

    Practice now but make sure he starts clearing the ears as soon as he hits the water.
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  5. Joneill

    Joneill Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: New Jersey, USA
    I use Valsava, but am trying to learn Frenzel.

    The key is to practice and on dive days I start equalizing when I get up and continue on the boat predive. Then I clear before descending and then keep equalizing every 3 feet or so. Key is frequent and low effort - you should not be straining as you can do damage if you blow too hard with Valsalva (found that out the hard way).

    Above water, pinching my nose and swallowing works as well. Also looking up and away from the side that is blocked while equalizing can help stretch the tube and open it as well.
    NothingClever likes this.
  6. Mark El Jefe

    Mark El Jefe Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Minnesota
    Stroke your Eustachian tube. move a finger from the under the ear to the Adams apple...this can loosen up blockages
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  7. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

    Take the 12 hour
  8. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

    When diving and one ear is stubborn, I turn that ear up to the surface, stretch my neck out as far as it will go and then using my fore and middle fingers, I press/pull down from my ear base just behind the jaw bone, down my neck beside the esophagus.
    tridacna and Mark El Jefe like this.
  9. chillyinCanada

    chillyinCanada Solo Diver Staff Member

    How does your son equalize when on a plane?

    That is what I do almost every day and throughout the day but most definitely on diving days. This helps keep that muscle conditioned and the eustachian open. You should be able to hear the click in your ears.
    NothingClever likes this.
  10. NothingClever

    NothingClever Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Red Sea and Atlantic Ocean
    Hello, Jason.

    I think you’re getting good advice here on ear clearing so I’ll address another facet of the situation for you.

    As long as your son doesn’t receive a permanent medical bar (which doesn’t sound likely), he can apply to BUD/S again. Selection for continued training is not an only-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for each Special Operations component of the Services. Some guys never dare to go back through the tough screening process (Hell Week for BUD/S, other names for other Services) but each Service allows a service member to apply and try again provided he doesn’t receive a permanent medical bar or do something really immoral. Across each of our Services, the Special Operations ranks are filled with guys who didn’t make it the first time.

    That much said, I know as a young man your son will probably feel crushed and that he has failed if he is dropped.

    I can assure you that Naval Special Warfare Command (NSW), the command that forms and fields SEAL units, is a diverse organization with a wide variety of opportunities for Sailors. Not every Sailor in a SEAL unit is an operator and they very much value their enablers.

    If he is unable to clear and gets dropped from the course, I would encourage him to seek out his BUD/S unit’s Senior Chief Petty Officer to ask him for career advice on how he could use the specialty he is already trained in (or will be trained in) to get an assignment to NSW.

    When he asks the training chain of command, the Chief Petty Officers (subordinate petty officers) might go on high alert thinking that your son intends to go complain about being dropped. He needs to look them squarely in the eye and tell them with the solid strength of his Bixby roots, “I know I’m being dropped because I couldn’t clear my ears but that doesn’t mean I can’t serve with a SEAL unit in another way. I want to serve with Special Operations and I‘d like to get the Senior Chief’s advice on how I can get assigned to Naval Special Warfare Command”.

    The Senior Chief Petty Officer will have the time in service to coach him on the next set of steps. If for some reason the Senior can’t meet with your son, the chain of command will likely find someone else who will take the time to get out of ‘sugar cookie’ mode and share some advice.

    I’m hoping your son can clear his ears and drive on with BUD/S training. But if he can’t, there are tons of jobs that SEAL Teams depend on to get a SEAL Platoon or Task Unit “on the X” (objective). In our very best Special Operations units, while everyone knows the operators make the final decision on the assault and its execution, the operators are humble and go out of their way to take care of their enablers. It’s very much a family environment where everybody’s efforts really, really, matter. It’s every bit of what the American taxpayer expects and what inspiring stories are formed around.

    Good luck and God bless you and your family for supporting your son’s service to his Nation. I’ll check back here to see how things went.
    martincohn, Schwob, Doc and 11 others like this.

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