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WARNING: Don't use ear plugs!

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by daniel1948, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. daniel1948

    daniel1948 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Spokane, WA
    Since this thread has been revived, I just thought I'd comment on my own original post. With two additional years' experience I think I have a better handle on what happened. Based on the positive experience of others, either one of my ear plugs was faulty, or my hood blocked the vent. At the time I concluded that I had not ruptured an eardrum because my hearing was not affected. However, this past winter I did rupture an eardrum (while freediving) as demonstrated by the fact that I was able to blow bubbles out my ear, and yet my hearing was entirely unaffected. (It was a tiny rupture, barely pinprick size.) I now believe that I had a similar rupture while wearing the ear plugs, as the short "pfffft" sound was the same. I have since heard of such pinprick ruptures healing in a day or two, explaining why I was able to dive again so soon.

    But I've had another insight as well: The feeling of water in my ears, which is so uncomfortable, and which motivated me to try the plugs in the first place, is not water in the outer ear canal at all: it is blood or fluid in the middle ear, as the result of pressure, or of improper equalizing. This explains why Ear-Dry drops do not eliminate it. The fluid is re-absorbed by the body in time. Ear plugs would not have prevented this, though better equalizing might. (Something one gets better at with experience.)

    I continue to enjoy both scuba diving and freediving.
    DandyDon and TSandM like this.

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