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Opening Eustachian Tube

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Pyde, Mar 4, 2020.

  1. Pyde

    Pyde Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Idaho
    15
    26
    13
    Does anyone know any tricks and or tips for opening Eustachian Tubes while diving? I have been diving for under a year now and was able to get my advanced cert done in that time. I only have 16 logged dives though. Mainly due to Eustachian Tube dysfunction. With out going into huge detail (I have had CT scans done and cameras shoved up my nose and many doctor visits to figure out my issue) I have struggled opening my right ear Eustachian Tube for sometime now. I have had fluid build up ect because of this issue... Ok enough about the issue. (I have learned more about Eustachian Tubes and my ears then i ever expected to learn in my lifetime)

    I have always dove at altitude in lakes (Idaho / Utah) until my wife and I went on a diving excursion through our cruise ship in the Bahamas on 02/28/20. It was our first ocean dive and it was amazing ! I love diving so much more now. But the cool part about the dive was. I didn't fight my right Eustachian Tube like i normally due. I was able to clear my right ear through stretching my face and making a very weird facial gesture (which i have tried in the past but didnt work) immediately at the start of the dive. At about 20' my wife and i did need to stop for about 1 minute while i waited to clear again. My very patient wife has been so patient with me.( It took me 12 minutes one time to get to 55') On this dive we went to about 50 feet in depth and besides the 1 minute wait at 20 feet i had no other problems clearing my right ear. It was a miracle. I was told my an ENT that did my CT scans and such to never dive again because of my ETD. What a quack!....

    What i am basically asking for is if anyone knows of any other information i can find about various techniques i can practice to open my Eustachian Tube or to exercise the muscles around my Eustachian Tube. I have kinda figured out my own way of opening my tube through facial stretches and trying to swallow ect. My right ear btw opens and closes when i breath out of my nose. So as soon as i blow out of my now to apply air to the inside of my mask while descending my left ear clears perfectly. The right ear is my problem child.

    I also fight this issue with elevation changes. but yawning always seems to work just fine. I however cant figure out how to yawn that wide with my regulator in my mouth.
    Valsalva Technique works for my left ear but not right
    Swallowing / talking / clearing my throat / humming ect is everything i try under the water and it seems to work slowly but it would be nice to find something that was more sure and worked faster.
    Maybe its my cross to bear to just take it slow.
     
  2. Joris Vd

    Joris Vd Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Belgium
    132
    63
    28
    Do you do the normal valsalva or the frenzel method?

    I had tons of problems equalising in the beginning, and for me the solution was the frenzel method. I'm not sure if you're allowed to link youtube videos here, but Adam Stern a competitive freediver has videos on several equalisation techniques.
    It's basically a valsalva type method where you close the throat / move the soft palate and then use your tongue to push the 'air pillow you''ve created upwards into the air cavities. It's alot more gentle for your ears.
     
    eleniel and Angelo Farina like this.
  3. BlueTrin

    BlueTrin ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: London
    1,696
    825
    113
    Is that the one ?

     
    spc751, Joris Vd and Angelo Farina like this.
  4. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Port Canaveral Florida
    737
    403
    63
  5. Angelo Farina

    Angelo Farina Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Parma, ITALY
    1,649
    2,486
    113
    Yes, this is a good method of learning it. Frenzel is mostly used by freedivers (hence is practised with the mouth close).
    A very similar technique was developed for scuba divers, which is used with the mouth open (as the mouthpiece of the regulator is in).
    Of course in this case you cannot get the additional pressure and air reserve provide by "cheek pumping", as deep freedivers do.
    For giving the proper names:
    The Frenzel with open-mouth for scuba divers is called the Marcante-Odaglia method.
    The Frenzel with closed mouth and cheek pumping is called the Frenzel-Fattah method.
    More info here: Frenzel Fattah Equalizing Workshop - We Freedive - Quality Freediving Education in Phuket

    Please note that most material available online is for freediving, it is very difficult to find correct explanation for the variant of Frenzel to be used by scuba divers...
    All these methods have the same concept (not using pressure in your lungs, and create pressure compressing air mechanically above the soft palate).
    they are much more effective then Valsalva, and generally, if practised properly, solve any equalizing problem for most people. Only in case of a mechanical obstruction of the Eustachian tube these methods fail, but in such case only surgery can fix the problem.
     
    eleniel, wnissen and BlueTrin like this.
  6. Pyde

    Pyde Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Idaho
    15
    26
    13
    Thank you for the ideas everyone ! I will definitely look more into this Marcante-Odaglia Method for divers.
     
  7. Scuba Cobra

    Scuba Cobra Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Okinawa, Japan
    313
    168
    43
    Have you considered eustacian tube dialation surgery? Best move I ever made.
     
  8. BoundForElsewhere

    BoundForElsewhere Waiting for the zombies ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: NYC
    1,784
    1,885
    113
    Have you tried Scubafed?
     
  9. Scuba Cobra

    Scuba Cobra Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Okinawa, Japan
    313
    168
    43
  10. BoundForElsewhere

    BoundForElsewhere Waiting for the zombies ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: NYC
    1,784
    1,885
    113
    Occidental post
     

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