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felt like my eye was going to pop and now I'm spitting blood.. why?

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give me gills!
Jun 18, 2003
I've been experiencing slight pain behind my left eye while I'm diving. My ears clear fine but I get pain underneath my cheek bone and begind the top part of the eye. The other day the pain became extreme. I was only at 30ft and couldn't go any deeper. I honestly thought I was going to pop my eye out. I had no problem at all popping my ears.

The next night the pain comes back before I go to bed. Not as extreme but pretty painful. In the morning I'm doing sit ups and when I went to the bathroom to huck a loogie I'm spitting out blood. It's been three days and I'm still ocasionally blowing blood out or spitting it out. I haven't done any diving or exercise since it happened.

Does anybody know what's happening? Is this something I should go see a doctor for?

Thanks in advance!


P.S. If you ever come down to the caymans e mail me!!
My guess is that this sounds like a blockage of the frontal, maxillary and/or ethmoid sinuses that caused a squeeze. The blood suggests that you broke a few capillaries in the sinuses and that the blood seeped into your throat while you you were sleeping. The duration of the systems suggests that the injury is unusually severe. Note that I'm not a qualified medical person by any stretch, so this opinion is probably not worth the paper it's printed on ;)

The fact that symptoms are persisting suggests that you got yourself pretty good. Any resulting inflammation from the injury might actually make you a candidate for additional squeezes until the injury heals.

If it were me, I'd see a doctor just to be on the safe side because the injury is so persistent. For example, it might be something other than a sinus injury and even if it is a sinus injury, medication (antihistamines, antibiotics etc.) might be indicated.

Some days I get squeezes, and I just have to take it easy by slowing my rate of descent. When you do this, you often can actually feel the air seep in slowly past the obstruction, and then you can proceed a little deeper. Going too deep too fast can actually deform the passage enough to keep it closed and make equalization impossible. Even if I'm careful, I occasionally blow out a sinus, but nothing like what you're describing (i.e. it might bleed for a few hours max). My basic philosophy is to respect the discomfort and not try to push past it.:blackeye


Thank you so much for that explanation. I feel a lot better.

It really hit the spot when you said respect the discomfort and take it easy. As much as I love the ocean she doesn't want me in there now. I feel like there's something important I can learn here.

Thanks you for your post and may the sea protect you always.

I have had some sinus squeeze lately (eye popping feeling) also. Sometimes on ascent it feels like I need to equalize! Very weird. I found that the same thing Pezman suggests- slow descent and respect the injury. I also found that blowing my nose after each dive really helps to unblock the sinuses. Good luck and try and keep your eyeballs in your head.
So I went to the doctor today. Just been feeling pain behind my eye on dry land. As I suspected my injury was infected. He gave me some powerful antibiotics. I can actually feel them working and clearing out the congestion.

Thanks for all your advice!

may the ocean protect you always
stuck sinus

caymandiver, sounds like you are right on target, but there may be continued inflamation and stuck sinuses after the infection is gone. That happened to me after a cold, couldn't dive at all for weeks. A doc familiar with diving problems prescribed cortisone pills for a few days, worked like magic.
Thanks cdavis. I'll try to get those pills if I'm still getting the "squeeze" after a week.
Thanks cdavis. I'll try to get those pills if I'm still getting the "squeeze" after a week.
cortisone is steroids if i'm not mistaken. which means that you'll have, or at least better have to pass through a doctor.
Did you put a little extra air in your mask every 25 feet or so?
I had a similar problem before I realized that you need to
equalize your mask pressure just like your ears. When you are
better, try blowing a little air out of your nose when you begin to feel the pressure. And this goes without saying...but don't wear
googles, unless they are the liquid filled type. A lower volume mask may also help.

You have a Hyperbaric ENT on Grand Cayman. I saw him when I was diving with the Canadian team. I don't remember his name, could get it for you if you want, but he's very good. Actually, he thinks we're all crazy. ;)

Anyways, I've had an enlarged turbinate(I've actually named it! :D) and like Pezmeister so well put, it'll obstruct the entrance way to one of your sinus cavities and inhibit your ability to equalize them. Once the cavity is sealed by one of these turbinates(these are folds of skin that are at the entrance to each sinus cavity. they moisten the air entering them) the air inside will compress and pull on this skin from the inside. It'll let air out, but not in. And, if it's seeping air in to fill your sinuses, it'll inflame just like your eust tubes and close up. It's also heavily lined with capillaries and will easily rupture. I have no choice but to take it easy when I dive, but most often than not, I'm blowing up clots the followind day. :(

I'd definitely see an ENT about this. My original Dr tried to tell me I had a polyp. Not the case. This is actually pretty common in people with allergies. Once you start irritating it, it seems it'll always give you trouble. Anyways, I plan on having the laser reduction surgery one of these days.

Good luck,
Thanks for the info Anderson. I really appricitate it.

It's been three weeks since I irritated it and I'm still spitting blood clot. It's infected and I have this light cold I can't get rid of... :duh

Went to see the doctor again today. Hopefully he's antibiotics will make all things better.

I'm actually in Japan now. I wanted to dive with the ama divers but that's not going to happen this trip. Just an interview..


I have the everlasting sinus infection. :( All the things involved in my problem are perfect ingredients to host infections. I missed about 2 and a half weeks of work this year because of it. Seems like it's almost impossible to shake. :blackeye

Antibiotics are good, but just a temporary cure. If you have what I think you have, the infections will reoccur. I can't stress enough how important it is to see an ENT. :hmm

Temporary cure for me is to do a saline flush in the morning and stay away from sugary stuff at least 6 hours before you dive. Like juices, sports drinks, etc. Drink lots of water, too. :)

Have fun in Japan! :cool:

Hey Anderson.

Thanks again for the tips. I would love to get the name of the ENT in Cayman if you can get it.

It must be really difficult not being able to dive the way you used to. Any tips you can give on how you were able to cope with something like this?

I was trying to hook up once a week training at divetech when I got back to Cayman but not sure if I can now. Hopefully a surgery or something will cure it.

Well one good thing out of this. I can stop taking the antibiotics now. :)

Thanks Anderson!!

I believe his name is Dr. Glatz. He's helped out many freedivers down there.

I was in Nebraska for a tournament this past weekend, and I drank nothing but water the entire time. My sinuses gave me very few problems, although I still had to take my descents slow and clear as early as possible. The funny thing was that when we left to head back to Denver on Sunday, we stopped at a gas station and I got a bottle of Sobe fruit mix stuff and downed it. As soon as we started making the elevation changes on the drive back, my sinuses started sticking again! :head Was quite painful, but went to show me how I definitely have to stay away from those types of drinks. :hmm

Anyways, the rule of thumb is the less you irritate them, the less trouble they'll give you. And... just try to keep your system clean and hydrated a day or so before you dive.

I know some of the Caymanian freedive team members if you're interested in hooking up w/ some of them when you get back. :confused:


It's great to hear that you are still compeating. I was a serously worried that the condition will allow us to do very shallow dives. Took lots off my shoulders. But I'm still sorry to hear that a simple sobe drink can do so much harm. Do you think surgery will help?

Yes! I would love to hook up with some of the cayman freedivers!! I've been searching but a few from Tanya's old shop were the only one's I could find. My buddy Jason and I dive religiously but that's about it.

Thanks for the name of the doctor. I'll contact him as soon as I return.

I really appriciate you helping out. :wave If it wasn't for you I think I'll have another 4 months of antibiotics. :crutch
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