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Ear Fear!

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


New Member
Aug 27, 2002
Hi, Guys!

I started to be interested in freediving just 2 months ago, yet I've achieved some interesting results (static 4:50, dynamic with fins 87m). I love this sport.

However, if you asked me about my CW best I'd say I've got none. That is because of Ear Fear I can't overcome.
I just can't equalize without experiencing unbelievable pain in my ears (Middle Ear Barotrauma?).

I've studied various techniques of equalizing but trying them was no succes. It became even worse.
I think my problem is of medical kind. Now I'm loking to see some ear-doc and I'm a bit worry about my freediving future.

Had anybody of you similar problems?
If so, how did you solve them?

Thanks for replying.

Thaks a lot, Guss.

These web pages are exactly what I was looking for!

I have something more for you

Don’t worry Erik, I’m 100% sure you will be able to equalize your ears very soon. Let me know what’s going on with your ears.
Congratulation for your results after 2 months training, Huuu… I would like to be in your shoes.

I have something more for you, hope it works:
- Equalizing Made Easy
- Ear Pain While Diving


- Instructions for Equalizing Ears and Sinuses


- ENT Problems
- Questions to the doctor.


You have told that you have test different ways of equalizing. Concerning different equalizing techniques I only have the article entitled: “Prevention of middle ear barotrauma”


Do Erik or somebody more in the forum have any other document more complete about this item?

Saludos Guss
Problems clearing when ascending

To Eric Fattah

Thanks a lot Eric for your post. I know your article since 5 months ago and it has been my clearing pattern to go deeper, before it was impossible. I have plans to master this technique in shallow water (-10) in neg apneas to try cross -45 in cw next spring. But for this I still need to recover my left ear health.

Please Eric can you help me in the main problem I have?

Normally after 2 hours spear fishing or shallow diving I cannot continue clearing my left ear any more when ascending (when descending it becomes harder and harder). I don’t have this problem when training cw because the number of dives is less and, has you know, equalizing in shallow water is harder for the eardrum than in deep water.

I suffered a dilatation (expansion, enlargement) of the tympanic membrane because I was not able to clear my left ear when ascending from 7 meters. That causes me a bloody middle ear barotrauma (no eardrum perforation). Result: 2 months waiting to recover my ear health (still 3 weeks to finish my recovering). I’m afraid that my left Eustachian tube it is not so strait and round than the right one, but that’s something I cannot change.


1) Do you know any clearing method to open the Eustachian tube if you are in troubles when ascending?

In the article “Prevention of middle ear barotrauma”


We can read as follow:

“The second part is to tense the muscles of the tongue in such a way as to cause the crackling sensation of Eustachian tube opening to occur. Often a jaw thrust can help make this maneuver more effective, and if the technique for "blowing smoke rings" was ever mastered, this is another good training maneuver which teaches you to recognize the muscles necessary to pull open the Eustachian tube”

Is this “tense the muscles of the tongue” the solution to my problem??? If it is, can you explain something more about it; I really don’t understand what it means Do you have any other information about this item??????

2) It is true that avoiding milk and sugar from my diet I can reduce the quantity of mucus delivered by Eustachian tube that can bar the air flow back to the sinus when ascending? Do you know something about it?

Thanks a lot to Eric and to all the friends in the forum who can help me. I really need some help.


1. If your ears get 'tighter' the longer you dive, then you are experiencing a swelling of the inner ear causing by frequent 'squeezing' of your ears. You are equalizing far too late, too often. I'll bet that you can feel the pressure on your ears as you equalize. You should equalize before that. This is further facilitated by using goggles & noseclip, because then you can equalize CONTINUOUSLY without pinching your nose. This prevents the tightness from building up during the day.

2. If you get a reverse block on the ascent, pinch your nose, and inhale against your pinched nose as HARD as possible. This is 'reverse equalizing', or 'reverse valsalva'. It is opposite from the regular valsalva, and it sucks air out of the inner ear back into the lungs.
Thanks Eric

I will take care of "continuous equalizing" when I start diving again. About “reverse equalizing” I will try to practice this by doing very soft equ. and reverse equ. in dry, if this problem arrives again when being on the water I want to be sure that I will be able to control the situation.

Thaks a lot

To Guss

2) Guss:
It is true that avoiding milk and sugar from my diet I can reduce the quantity of mucus delivered by Eustachian tube that can bar the air flow back to the sinus when ascending? Do you know something about it?

I have an asthmatic past, and when I was a child my doctor advised me to reduce my dairy products cunsumption. I didn't hear anything like that about sugar.
For what I can tell you, I could feel the increase in mucus after eating dairy, but only for the next 2 hours, that's all, I don't think that a total absence from dairy would change more.

I have experimented with no-dairy. Upon beginning a ZERO dairy diet, I noticed a sudden drop in mucous & clearing of sinuses. However, the drop in mucous got better and better for several MONTHS, until after about 4 months my nose & sinuses were clearer than they had ever been in my life... but the temptation to eat dairy eventually overwhelmed me....

Also note that after several months of no-dairy, I wouldn't need to blow my nose even once during a 3-hour diving session-- not once! No accumulation of mucous in my mask at all.

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada

Hmm, I only thought it was an 'after eating affect'.


P.S: There is a 10 min operation for people with chronic congestion problems, I think the procedure is buring some nazal tissues in the nose with radio.

According to the yogis, the flow of air through the sinuses is of critical importance, and modern scientists are completely ignorant of the intricate paths the air must take. When your sinuses are plugged, you can't think clearly. One man had nasal surgery, and forever after he found himself so mentally confused he had to quit his job.

I would never allow a doctor to operate on my nasal passages...

Eric Fattah
BC, Canada
Thanks a lot Eric and Michael

After reading Eric’s experience I’m sure it will work with me. I’m going to start today a zero dairy diet (huuu…. I love dairy). I will let you know what’s going on with my left ear in the next months. I would like that my own experience can help somebody in the future affected by the same problem. I will keep you all inform.


To Guss:
Good luck Guss, I would like to know how you progress.

To Eric:
I think that the surgery does'nt involve complicated endoscopes. It's supposed to be a 10 min surgery to burn the tissue in your nose a bit, thuss making it produce less mucus. The same thing that all those nose-spray medicins work, but this time really teaching the troublsome tissue a lesson ( :) ), making the changes perminent.

Anyways, I understand those yogis perfectly, when I get a serious alergy attack strange things happen to me as well.

BTW, do u know a book named Raja Yoga? (I forgot who is the author.) and if you do, do u recommend it?
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