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nerves

Discussion in 'Ask Dr. Decompression' started by cynsearles@hotmail.com, Oct 17, 2000.

  1. cynsearles@hotmail.com

    cynsearles@hotmail.com Angel Fish

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    Hi again Bill, so now that I have figured out that it is a nerve injury, thanks to you of course is it something that will treat itself or should I go to the Doctor. My arm wasn't in a vice or anything I was just pushing something. Will it return to normal or is there cause for concern. My fingertips are still numb. And because of my experience with the bends I still freak out when something doesn't feel normal.

    Thanks
     
  2. BillP

    BillP Senior Member

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    Fourteen hours (now longer) is a long time for fingers to go to sleep. If someone has just "bruised" or "stretched" the nerve only time will heal it. If the nerve is being compressed at some point by a bone spur, swelling, etc. it can sometimes need to be decompressed surgically or sometimes medicine can help. Only an in-person evaluation by a knowledgeable health care provider can tell the difference.

    Good luck,

    Bill
     
  3. King_Neptune

    King_Neptune Founder

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    Ouch ...

    I've been watching the History Channel too much! We take for granted the "knowledge" and "medicine" afforded us today. I'm just REAL glad that we don't live in a time where instead of "Take two of these and call me in the morning", it would be more like, "If we go ahead and CHOP this off you might live"!

    If any of you have been watching the History Channel lately on the Cival War times during the invention of the first Submarine and the early Confed. Divers you'll know what I mean.

    =-)

     
  4. cynsearles@hotmail.com

    cynsearles@hotmail.com Angel Fish

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    Thanks

    I'll have it checked out.

    I have another question though. I am on the quest to dive again after my experience of being bent.

    The performed an operation on my ears where they put a pin hole in the inner ear? and drain fluid. Will this also affect my ability to dive again as far as equalizing is concerned. I anm still in the healing process but once everything is ok will it be a no no to dive?
     
  5. BillP

    BillP Senior Member

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    IMHO, when or whether any individual can return to diving after an episode of DCS is well beyond the scope of this discussion board. I can only discuss generalities. If you ask a dozen different authorities, you'll probably get a dozen different answers. When or whether someone returns to diving after a decompression illness depends on the illness and the recovery. Divers return to diving when (and if) there's no significant risk of aggravating the DCI injury or having a recurrence. For example, US Navy guidelines call for divers to return to diving after 48 symptom free hours, 7 days without symptoms, 14 days after recovery, or 4 weeks later, depending on the type of DCI and the treatment that was necessary to affect recovery. But keep in mind that these are Navy divers who are sitting around not earning their keep if they're not working. Most authorities would likely be more strict about letting a recreational diver return to diving, and some would possibly even say no diving again ever no matter what.

    Now, about ears and recompression treatments. Doctors sometimes perform myringotomies on patients undergoing recompression in a chamber. This means poking a small hole in the eardrum (not the inner ear) so the patient can equalize more easily. Myringotomies must be healed before a diver re-enters the water or water can flow from the outer ear thru the eardrum and into the middle ear increasing the risk of infection. Myringotomies usually heal very quickly without any appreciable scarring and once healed don't usually interfer with diving. Only an exam of the eardrum will tell if the drum has healed. John Reinertson gave a good discussion on myringotomies at http://www.scubaboard.com/showthread.php?threadid=194 .

    HTH,

    Bill
     
  6. Iguana Don

    Iguana Don Guest

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    Hey King,
    How about some good ole leeches & blood letting. I've been watching the Discovery channel & leeches are making a come-back. Will blood letting be next?
    I'm getting nervous about my barber, he's starting to collect dentist tools!
     
  7. Iguana Don

    Iguana Don Guest

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    I have an extemely hard time equalizing. I'm always the last one down off of the boat because it takes a long time to equalize. I perform all of the known methods to equalize, but it still takes forever.
    I have allergies & sinus problems. Went to an ENT specialist, (said he was familiar to diving problems) to have my e-tubes checked to see if they were normal & he said they were & couldn't find any problems other than a deviated septum. I take Claritin D to keep my sinus clear, but still have a hard time equalizing. Also even when not diving, weeks after, it feels like I have fluid behind the ear drum.
    This is not a new problem as it has been with me since I started diving.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Don



    p.s. King_Neptune, we think alike & no my nose is not crooked. Thank you very much.

    Oops this should have gone to "Diving Medicine"
     
  8. BillP

    BillP Senior Member

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    Hi don:

    I don't have a lot to add that you haven't already covered. As you mentioned, proper equalization techniques with frequent gentle equalization is important to prevent ear barotrauma. Congestion interferes with equalization, and allergies cause congestion. Antihistamines like Claritin-D are great, but there are also other medications and methods to control allergies that might help. Your ENT would be a good resource. Decongestants like pseudoephedrine (e.g. Sudafed) help with congestion and ease equalization, but Claritin-D already has pseudoephedrine in it. Some divers report having their deviated septums surgically corrected improves their ability to clear their ears.

    Sorry I don't have any magic. Good luck,

    Bill
     
  9. Dr Deco

    Dr Deco Medical Moderator Staff Member

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    Regretably, with some people, equalization is a very slow process - - and as Bill says, there is no magic formula.
     
  10. John Reinertson

    John Reinertson Barracuda

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    The better your allergies are controlled, the easier it will be to equalize.
    The only things you haven't mentioned doing for your allergies are Immunotherapy (Allergy shots) which you could discuss with your allergist, or Nasal Cortisone sprays (such as Nasacort AQ, Flonase, Nasonex, and others.) The nasal sprays are widely used and in my experience very powerful additive items for equalization troubles in people with allergies. They are not available over the counter- you'll need a prescription, but any doc that is prescribing Claritin D should be familiar with these sprays.

    They have worked wonders for a couple of my patients. They do have to be started several days ahead of time for best results, and they are much less effective if you have an active sinus infection or cold at the time. They are also good for frequent fliers that get ear pain- same physiology.
    Good luck and good diving!!

    John
     

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