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Ear operation

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Oct 29, 2004
Guys, Ive always had ear problems & have recently read a few of the forum articles about ear problems.
The following may assist some of you struggling with a continuation of weak eardrums.

One forum contribution that caught my eye in particular was from jsharbel71 & Commonerg. I feel for you guys!
I am no doctor, but I did have a new eardrum grafted-on some years back after recurring breakages on the same ear that left that eardrum considerably weakened.
My specialist ENT doctor did nothing to help so I sought a second opinion, This Doc operated within 2 months.

I was alarmed to read one of the guys talking of air whistling out thru his ear, which surely means that this eardrum is in fact ruptured & in need of some TLC.

I too have had this whistling ear sensation & could virtually 'whistle dixie' thru that ear.

Upon the eardrum healing at one stage, I was diving a place called Murramurang on NSW/Austrlaia's sth coast & whilst diving & pursuing a fish, failed to equalise properly & at a depth of only 5-6 metres, I burst my weak eardrum.
Whilst this has happened before, the pressure on the inner ear in this instance was that intense that upon reaching the surface I had become very dizzy & could not keep the horizon level.
For reasons not known to me, my sight had also virtually gone.
I could see fuzzy outlines & to my distess, I could hear the sound of our inflatable boat motor & just make out that it was going away from me in the opposite direction, back to shore from the ocean side of the island we were diving.
All the yelling, screaming & splashing was to no avail as the guys could not hear me over the sound of the motor. Worse for me was that the guy driving the boat was a doctor & going in the opposite direction. (I found out later he was dropping his sons back to shore).
I jetison'd all my gear & continued to scream out.
One of my mates 100 mtres away heard my calls & was there in a flash. Within minutes my sight had fully returned but I was still as dizzy as.

Does anyone out there know why my sight would have been affected in this instance?
We swam to shore, picking up my jetisoned gear along the way.

Back to the ear operation......
The operation itself isnt really too big a deal although you wouldnt want to watch a video of it whilst you are eating your breakfeast.
From memory, my ear was cut from behind & peeled forward, making it easier for the surgeon to get good access.
A small skin graft was taken from one of my butt cheeks & in short, grafted in position.
I think the most traumatic thing at the time was waking up in recovery with a huge blue ribbon wrapped around my 'tackle' & a huge piece of Elastoplast surgical tape over my chest as my chest had been cut open...... I knew the head-nurse & she thought at the time that it might be funny for me. Funny for them maybe!

The operation certainly strengthened the weak eardrum, so it deffinately is an option for some of you guys out there that have a recurring problem or weakness, but dont rush into it, do your homework on other options & only go that way as a last resort.
It is essential that you find a goon ENT specialist that knows what is going on, but yes, it can be done without allot of hooha.
I did not dive for nearly a year. 15 years later I still have problems, but not to the extent that I did. I cannot dive deep & dont intend to & yes, I spear allot of surface fish.

Hope this may be of help to someone.
Depthman-Steve Thommo ;)

Sorry about your ear problems. It's always a bummer to hear about these little pesky handicaps holding people back from enjoying the things they love.

I do not know much about the effects of pressure on the eyes, but you may want to check out this page: http://www.uksdmc.co.uk/standards/Standards- ophthalmology.htm

As for me...

My ENT, for the first time in my life, has some good news for me last week. My eardrum has fully healed without surgery. He was quite surprised as he had originally given it something like a 10% chance. I am glad I waited to see if it would heal instead of opting for the surgery right away.

I'm going to give it a while long before I get in the open water, and I'll take it slow. Hopefully I can start to enjoy diving without worrying about what ear problem will plague me next. My ENT recommended a pair of perforated Docs Proplugs to keep my ears a little happier in the water, but I have not tried them yet. I don't think they will help pressure effects, but it seems like it would be a bit easier to equalize with dry ear canals.

I wish you many more years perforation free, and may your aim stay true.

Greg Leo
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