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ears training?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Apr 15, 2001
Maybe it is a silly question, but is there any training for equalization. Because this weekend I made a tip to one beautiful dive sight, it is a quite a walk and when I got to the water I couldn´t pop my ears even though that on a dry land it was no problem. Now I can´t even pop them on a dry land which makes drives me crazy because another diving trip is ahead. If you know about something how to clean Eustachian tube please let me know.

The first thing you can do is practice. If you are just starting out you need to work your ear into shape- kind of like doing push-ups to work your arms. Practice clearing your ears 20- 30 times a day during your regular routine.
The second thing you can do is to watch your diet. Milk and sugar products should be avoided, as they produce mucous. I have heard that some people like to drink orange juice to help clear things out before a dive. Be careful not to drink too much if you are prone to sea sickness.
There are a variety of medicines out there that I won't comment on as I am not a doctor. There are also many different techniques that you can try beyond the basic Vasalva.

Ear fix

Dolda, may I suggest that along with Jon's advice, if you do not already practice yoga, that you try it? 15 minutes of yoga in the morning might change your life, not just your ears. If not, then just try a couple of different inverted positions that are not difficult, and will help open up your sinuses and tubes. This means putting your head lower than other parts of your body so as to increase blood flow and gently expand blood vessels. Where I live it is very dry, and I usually wake up stuffed up. After yoga, my congestion disappears, and my ears clear very easily. Try "dog pose"...lie on the ground as if you were ready to do a push-up...lift your rear-end straight up....keep your arms and legs straight; feet and hands flat on the ground....breathe slowly, as if you were getting ready to dive. Stay up for about 20 seconds, come down flat for about 10. Do this 4 or 5 times, and your ears should open up. Also, stand up, touch your toes(without straining), and relax in that position for 30 seconds or more. More is better. These poses will help your ears and your flexibility. Good luck on your next dive, Erik:cool:

I have chronic sinus problems, and I do find that inverted postures help as do sinus medications. Another thing that I have found to be a big help is ear candling.
I am lucky in that my wife is a nurse and had the process done to her, and now she can do it for me, so you might need to have someone from a health food store do it to you the first time, but wow, big difference.
The candling process involves having a hollow beeswax candle stuck in you ear and burned. Usually the candle sticks through a pie plate so that the by products of the burning fall on the plate, but not you. The warm gases
circulate in your outer ear and melt the wax and loosen other stuff like dead skin that is then sucked up the hollow candle. The process takes about 15 minutes per ear. For me, the stuff that came out was bordering on scary, big hunks of ear wax and the like. I would recommend it .

Best wishes and good candling,

Doug Morgan,
Lantzville, B.C.
Get them checked

Do not minimize the danger of ear problems. If your ears don't clear easily and this is not related to acute problems such as illnesses or allergies get a good exam by an ENT doctor. If it is due to an acute problem don't dive or practice clearing your ears until you are well. Ears not equalizing is not just isolated to the ears and may have multiple causes. I have never found any statistics on it but from what people have reported who have sustained various types of ruptures indicates that many divers may have drowned as a result of a rupture. Not only are some types of ruptures very painful they can cause immediate disorientation and vomiting, not to mention panic. Hearing loss is a very real concern in diving and not discussed enough. Early freedivers in California used earplugs and most of them had serious hearing impairments later in life. Finally, although the advice on how to practice and yoga is valuable it may aggravate an existing problem. I know of several people who can never dive again because of damage to their ears and eustachian tubes that was preventable. In one case all that needed to be done was to have the ear wax removed. In another the diver had a build up of calcification know as swimmers ear that was also very treatable. In this case the rupture occured at -60 feet and he sustained damage to his cochlear resulting in very disabling loss of balance and orientation that is permanent. Both case lost over 90 percent of the earing in one ear and one also lost 60 percent in the other ear. These types of injuries occur far more often than fatal injuries but can have a serious and prolonged negative impact on your life far removed from diving itself. Pain is natures way of telling us to stop doing something. Angus
If you can find Corso di apnea by Pellizzari, it's got a whole chapter devoted to 'ginnastica tubarica' ("eustachian gymnastics"). It might not be out in english though.
I grew up with ear problems similar to yours. Every summer at the beach I would get middle ear infections ( otitis media ) or swimmer's ear ( otitis externa). I have also ruptured my right eardrum twice while freediving as a novice. The first time was extremely painful and very scary and it took a long time before I could return to diving. The second time I knew what had happened, took appropriate measures, and recovery time was minimal ( about a month ). As a result of a lifetime of ear problems I have developed scar tissue in my eustachian tube which has made it smaller- so says the doctor. I have been lucky as I have experienced very little hearing loss.

Due to this problem I have become very careful about equalization. I probably equalize too much if that is possible! If I do not equalize often enough my right ear will become inflamed in the eustachian tube and sometimes I just have to get out of the water. As was said before if you have been having problems taking a little time off might help to let the inflammation calm down.

Try the yoga before diving. I know I am going to. Equalize often. And always make sure you get all the water out of your ear after a day of diving. I even go so far as doing it while resting during a day of diving. I use 80% alcohol and 20% vinegar and it seems to work. Hope this post helps.
It is possible to exercise the eustachian tubes using a balloon. The balloon is connected to a little plastic toggle that is hollow. You take the toggle and press it against the nostril left or right. The other nostril is closed with a finger. You then take a deep breath and close the mouth. Then you exhale through the nostril until the balloon is inflated to the size of an orange and at the same time you ears sound pop.

This exercise can be combined with swallowing while you let the air from the balloon flow back through the nostril.

All this is indeed in the "Manual of Freediving" by Umberto plus a few variations.

In Germany you can get this as set for treating young children under the name of "Otovent" at the pharmacie.
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