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ear i go again

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Jan 24, 2002
hi there lately iv'e had a bit of trouble with my ears and currently have a middle ear infection.(2nd in 3 months) (i've just been swimming and doing light training in the pool and havn't done any depth dives for a while now.)
my doctor was horrified when i explained what freediving was and that i had been doing modest 15 -20 m dives "the human ear wasn't meant to stand such pressure he exclaimed" im sure he was over reacting and decided it was wise not to mention static apnea ha ha. he suggested i take up another sport, but as i'm sure you all know it's not that simple.
what i was wondering was is there a good place to get medical info with regards to freediving? do other divers get regular ear problems? are some people just prone to it due to there physiowhattsit ? ....i did have pretty bad sinus trouble and tooth squeeze last time i did any depth dives and have had some trouble clearing in the past, i use the valsalva technique (cant get the frenzel happening) thing is i love doing this yet i already have mild tinnitus (prior to freediving) so like anyone my hearing and well being are a top priority, so what i need is some advice or info. I've read about candelling but apparently my ears are clean according to the doc. any feedback would be greatly appreciated

:inlove (so it's not all bad)
got some reading for ya...




the clear-ease site has some informative stuff on the physio of the inner ear. i'm not promoting the product, i think papaya tablets stuffed back in your cheeks do the same thing for alot less money. but that's another issue.

good luck,

I've had exactly same problems in the past. About 2 years ago I might had ear infection (outer ear, the tube or whatever it is in english :) once in a month.
Also little tinnitus. I think I've had this tinnitus from scuba activities, because I had this regulator which made all bubbles to go up just next to my ears. And the bubbles make lots of noise when they start to expand and go up.

Anyway once I was eating at local pizza place and there was a woman selling those pizzas. She saw me keeping a cottonball in my ear. She asked if I have ear infection and I did (again).
Well, she said this cotton thing is not going to work and asked me to take it off. Then she told me to take one piece of white onion, cut it so it fits to my ear. You have to also make few side cuts to the onion to make the liquid come out.

Ok I gave it a try and after that I've never had any outer aer infections. After my ears start to tickle or feels bad, I cut a piece of white onion and put it in my ear. It feels little painfull for the first minutes, but it really helps. You keep it in about 5-10 minutes. One time might be enoug (depends).

I think it won't work if you have inner ear infection (after your eardrum).

Best rgds,
Antti, when I was in the Gulf, one of the locals told me what the pearldivers did. Very similar to your story, with the exception that you peel the onion down to the size for your ear, and leave it in overnight. He told me that it has worked for him on infections and even when he's squeezed or overpressurised his round window. Apparently he woke up every time, ready to dive.
Sometimes the old methods have weight in the 1000's of years that people have used them. Certainly seems more informed about diving than your "doctor", yes?
Good luck friend,
Erik Y.

if you're a diver (free or scuba), you'll get ear infection one time or the other, the chances goes up with the frequency. A friend of mine who is also a scuba instructor pour rubbing alcool into his ear....:duh and you though the onion was hurting...

What you can do to prevent ear infection is to clean your ear after each dive using fresh water and a rubber pear.

If your doctor tell you you should not freedive, well he dont know s&#@... I got the same problem, when it come down to diving, good doctor are very sparse. Give him or her the web site of DAN, http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/ , they have a lot of info for "doctors".

Thanks for the onion tip, i'll try it next time.
thanks guy's for the help. I think my doctor would think anything is dangerous. anderson thanks for the links too..really interesting.
I sometimes get the same thing.

My solution, is this:

Take a cup of mildly-hot water, and dissolve a teaspoon of salt
in there.
then put about 10-15 drops of this in you ear when it starts feeling itchy or whatever.

Leave it in for about 3 minutes, then dry your ear properly with a
ear-stick or thingy-magingy.

This only helps for ear-canal infections, not middle/inner ear infection.

Works for me.
ear problems

Something we use w/ our guys while we're in saturation is a mixture of one part acetic acid(white vinagar), one part alcohol, and one part glycerin. After the last dive of the day wash the ears out w/ fresh H2O, put the solution in your ears(one at a time) and tilt your head sideways to keep the solution in there as long as possible, repeat w/ the other ear. The alcohol kills any bacteria outright, the vinagar raises the acidity to keep things from growing in there and the glycerin keeps the alcohol from drying the ear out too much. Personally I wouldn't recommend cleaning your ears out too often, this could irritate the lining of the canal and set you up for an infection. There is also a commercial solution called Domboro that you may be able to get. Also you could probably find things at the local drug store for "swimmers ear", they will probably help you out too. Just some things that have worked for us. Take care.
Although this particular doctor didn't understand dick about diving and equalising does not mean that freediving is safe for all ears. Some individuals just happen to have inner ear parts so fragile that forced equalising can do irreparable damage to hearing.

A friend of mine had to go through extensive surgery to get repaired pressure change induced damage in inner ear. She never actually ruptured a drum or felt great pain during (scuba)diving, just had a couple of infections and wanted her ears checked. She was strongly advised to drop diving altogether, but if she insisted on continuing she should never equalise with valsalva or any other forced method.

Therefore, it might be a good idea to take ear problems seriously and consult a specialist who has the knowledge and equipment to make a good diagnosis.

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