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Whistle noise from ears? I'm blowing too hard?

Discussion in 'New Divers and Those Considering Diving' started by Ladyvalea, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. Ladyvalea

    Ladyvalea Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Fort Worth, Texas, United States
    hurt in my ears as I was going down toward the deep end...I've always just yawned and I could hear a crackle, snap in my ears, so I think thats the sound of ear clearing.. But my teacher said try pinching nose and blow gently ...
    so I did...and Nothing... so I blew harder and next I hear a high pitch whistlle sound in my ears a long squeeking whistle....is this the sound of ear clearing?

    8 hours later my ears are sore....and I'm now sneezing and coughing with head congestion....SO I'm thinking during that time in the pool ...I was on the verge of a cold or allergry ...I didn't feel any symptoms ..except the pressure in my ears and no ability to clear?
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008
  2. Pearldiver07

    Pearldiver07 IDC Instructor

    No, normally this would not be clearing. Sometimes a short transient whistling sound may be heard, but any prolonged or repeated sound like this is probably not good.

    I'm not medically trained, but if I were your instructor I'd be telling you to see an ENT guy before continuing on. Especially if your hearing is muted, sounds like you're in a can/tunnel, or there is tenderness at/near the ears.
  3. do it easy

    do it easy Assistant Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Chicagoland, USA
    It's different for everyone- the real test is if it relieved the pressure in your ears? You'll be able to feel it as the pressure equalizes and your ears feel more comfortable.

    A 10' pool is a good place to practice. It's deep enough that most people will feel the change in pressure, but not too deep that they can't equalize.
  4. Ladyvalea

    Ladyvalea Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Fort Worth, Texas, United States
    Oh, the whistle nosie stopped as soon as I stopped pinching my nose and blowing...
  5. Scuba Ken

    Scuba Ken Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Astoria, New York, USA
    Did you ever have tubes in your ear?
  6. Ladyvalea

    Ladyvalea Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Fort Worth, Texas, United States

    I felt like I was blowing a small stream of air out of my ears with that squeeky, whistle sound..
  7. Gombessa

    Gombessa DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NorCal
    That sounds pretty normal for me. As I clear I hear a high-pitched whistle as I'm blowing, until my ears equalize. At that point I can definitely "hear" better in the water as well. Also, my right ear clears more easily than my left, so often I have to keep blowing after the right has cleared in order to let the left "catch up."

    I remember thinking back in OW training that I have to blow harder than I would have thought in order to successfully clear, but part of that was because I wasn't clearing often enough - it's best to start clearing immediately as you descend, *before* you feel the squeeze.
  8. pasley

    pasley Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Lakewood, CA
    Blow very gently. If you can't clear that way, come up a few feet and try again. The key is to start clearing as soon as the top of your head is under water and clear often say ever foot or two. Once you get past 20 or 30 feet it seems like it becomes less of an issue. Popping (as in on an airplane) is normal, whistling is not.

    If is extremely important that if you cannot clear, you stop the dive. Pain is not a good thing. IF you force the issue, and have congestion (that you may not know about) and do get down then at the end of the dive while trying to surface you may have a reverse squeeze where the pressure inside your ears is greater than outside (here if gentle blowing does not work, try gentle sucking as you are trying to remove pressure). You don't have to go down, but you do have to come up. A reverse squeeze is serious. If you cannot resolve it, then at some point you are going to have to surface, have some pain and very likely blow an eardrum or two.

    The squeaking/whistling noise was possibly the over pressurized air from your blowing too hard being forced back out past congested/swollen Eustachian tubes. You may have had some sinus issues (which can also whistle) and your hard blowing forced mucus into your Eustachian tubes, which could lead to an ear infection. Or you may have been coming down with a cold/allergy and did not yet realize your head was stuffy. If you can now blow smoke out of your ears, then you blew a drum (but you may have noticed some blood). Either way, not good. Again when the instructor said "gently" he meant "gently". Your ears are composed of delicate and thin membranes called ear drums, that you can rupture if you are not careful.

    A visit to an ENT is a good thing too. If you are prone to allergies (as I am) then use saline spray liberally the day before and the day of a dive (actually you should use it all the time) as this will help to keep the sinus clear.
  9. MauiScubaSteve

    MauiScubaSteve Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Olowalu, Maui
    OMG, go see your family doctor! If you don't have one, find a reasonable clinic and make an appointment. I have had 4 perforations (from cliff diving) and a whisteling noise from air coming out when you pinch and blow is exactly what a perforation sounds like. You've done it a bunch and now your ear is sore, no doo doo. You are now congested so you may have been congested a little when you did the dive. One plus one may actually equal two.

    If you can blow air out your ear it does not take an ENT to make the diagnosis.
  10. Kayla

    Kayla Great White

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Washington (State!)
    Easy tiger. :wink: I think that while it could be a sign of a problem, thats just the way some people equalize. Mine ALWAYS whistle, and I was concerned, so I saw my ENT- all systems are a go, its just how my ears function.

    Everyone is a little different, and it might not hurt to see a doctor, just for your own peace of mind. :)

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