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Help!! Ear ringing!!

glubglub

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2007
107
11
58
San Diego
OK I went in for an easy 25ft dive to get used to monofinning again, and as usual my left ear didn't equalize well (thus I'm maxed out at 40ft, but that was on another session). This dive was the first after 2 weeks hiatus from any aquatic activities, so I wanted to take it slow.

Now, my left ear is still ringing now, and the dive was 3 hrs ago. My right ear is fine. The ringing happened right after my last ascend (I was actually on surface when it started). Also my head feels a little full on the left
side. I don't have any pain, fluid drainage or hissing, it's just ringing a little and feels very full / heavy. Already tried yawning, sucking air with nose pinched etc, still nothing.

Any ideas what might happened? I read something about reverse block, but from the description it doesn't look like it (mainly no pain). The more accurate one I see is from MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: Ear barotrauma

My hearing "loss" now is only for the high frequency (the treble, if you will). I can still hear lower range frequencies, so I don't think I ruptured my drum.

I will see doc on Monday to make sure. I'm almost positive this had happened to all of you one time or another. Can you help sharing how long this went on for you? The hearing loss, etc?

Thanks!
 

irtrogdor

Well-Known Member
Oct 27, 2007
195
10
58
SoCal
Well, if you're not bleeding out of your ear, it almost definitely heal. I'm no doctor, so I can't say when. But what might have happened is you induced a small barotrauma in your inner ears, with caused your body to fill it with plasma. That happened to me last week, and i just went diving yesterday. I think I still have some fluid in there, but it didn't inhibit my diving.

But you should go see the doc.
 
OP
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glubglub

glubglub

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2007
107
11
58
San Diego
Thanks for the reply! I saw the doc yesterday, but no diving doc. My tymphanic membrane is intact, "very red", and bulging outward. She tested more with some device (suck / push motion) and it's moving accordingly. She gave 1 week antibiotics for "ear infection" and decongestant to relieve pressure. I asked her whether my oval / round window OK or not, she couldn't see it. I guess due to fluid build up.
 

irtrogdor

Well-Known Member
Oct 27, 2007
195
10
58
SoCal
Yikes, at least it wasn't broken. I read somewhere that you should allow two weeks for more serious barotrauma. So if you plan on diving in the next two weeks or so, try to really take it easy until you are sure your ears are up to it.

its funny how such a small membrane can determine weather or not you can participate in a sport.
 

fflupo

Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2004
180
10
58
spain
babylon-freefly.com
me i had a revers block on the way up, 3 years ago and i m still suffering quit often a tinitus and the loose of high frequencies

the ENT said that with the loose of hearing the system reacts with the high pitch sound but only when it is to noisy around me
 

samdive

Mermaid, Musician and Marketer
Nov 12, 2002
3,221
277
173
46
Cornwall (and a bit of Chepstow)
www.samamps.com
I have had tinnitus for about 3 months - my doctor says it must have been caused by freediving, even though I don't remember any trauma at that time and wasn't even doing much diving then..... got another appointment with an audiologist but they've basically told me to put up and shut up.

It's not that bad, just irritating sometimes. Has anyone got a good coping strategy? (other than never being anywhere quiet!)
 
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glubglub

glubglub

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2007
107
11
58
San Diego
I haven't gone to ENT yet, will make appointment today.

I downloaded a nifty frequency generator. I lost hearing right about 8kHz and above on my left ear. Amazing...

My right ear can hear this crystal clear up to about 15kHz, my left ear can't even detect it. So this is why my left ear can only detect what I call "AM radio" quality while my right is still good for "HD radio".

I read somewhere due to brain plasticity (rewires itself), eventually tinnitus sufferrers like us will simply "ignore" that frequency. The problem is it will ignore literally ALL frequency near and around that frequency range.

P.S. Conversations happens between 4khz - 8khz... Piano keys range from 27.5 - 4186.01 Hz. Mariah Carey hits 220Hz - 3,500Hz.
 

Pinball

New Member
Feb 17, 2008
1
0
0
Finland
I haven't gone to ENT yet, will make appointment today.

I downloaded a nifty frequency generator. I lost hearing right about 8kHz and above on my left ear. Amazing...

My right ear can hear this crystal clear up to about 15kHz, my left ear can't even detect it. So this is why my left ear can only detect what I call "AM radio" quality while my right is still good for "HD radio".

I read somewhere due to brain plasticity (rewires itself), eventually tinnitus sufferrers like us will simply "ignore" that frequency. The problem is it will ignore literally ALL frequency near and around that frequency range.

P.S. Conversations happens between 4khz - 8khz... Piano keys range from 27.5 - 4186.01 Hz. Mariah Carey hits 220Hz - 3,500Hz.

I was diving last week with little bit of allergy and I think my right eustachian tube was blocked.

Now I also have tinnitus and hearing loss of over 6500 Hz and little bit of vertigo.

I went to the ENT and he checked my eardrums and they were fine. He told me to come again after three weeks if it doesn’t get any better.

I think that I have Perilymph Fistula (American Hearing Research Foundation (AHRF) Perilymph Fistula)

Maybe you have this too?

I hope it heals. :crutch
 

Lenny

Arrrg...Woof!
Apr 26, 2007
388
21
0
Cape Town, South Africa
Wow, glubglub the exact same thing symptoms happened to me this afternoon. I was a bit stupid and carried on doing a few more dives:crutch. In the water I figured that, I have no pain, or bleeding or anything other than the ringing. But it's now been 5 hours and still got the ringing in my left ear. I see this post is quite old, perhaps you can let me know what eventually happened, and how long it took to heal?
 
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glubglub

glubglub

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2007
107
11
58
San Diego
Hey Lenny. We've all done that one last dive we should have avoided :)

It took me about 2 months to have my hearing completely restored. It got gradually better, but boy it was scary and annoying. It all depends on how fast you can get that fluid build up out of your middle ear.

I don't think the antibiotics help out at all in my case because it wasn't really infected to begin with. However, one thing I should have done was probably to reduce the inflammation around the Eustachian tube to allow the fluid to go out faster, so perhaps anti inflammatory medications (ibuprofen or naproxen) would help a little.

Hope this helps. Oh yes, avoid going anywhere deep (not even deep pool) at least next 2 weeks and don't try to "equalize" it out. It would irritate your ET further.
 
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geo909

Member
Feb 13, 2013
75
2
18
Canada/Greece
Hi all, and sorry for ressurecting this old thread, but I thought it'd be better to continue the discussion here rather than starting something new.

I recently dived with a little bit of mucus, around 10-15 meters, and had a reverse block on the way up. I had travelled a long way for that dive, so I was stupid and stuborn enough to dive some more, and down there, in the silence, I started hearing this continuous high pitch noise: It's been almost two weeks and it's still there, 24/7 in my right ear, along with substantial loss of high frequencies and a (probably deceiving?) feeling that I have a stuffed ear. I also ocassionally hear some faint "scratching" noises, when I'm in a silent room. But overall, I have absolutely no pain or even discomfort. Next day the family doctor said the ear drum was a tad red and it'll be fine, probably in a week. Gave me a decongestent and told me to chew gum. Yet it's been almost two weeks and I'm starting to freak out cause everything is still the same.. It's a tiny harder to fall asleep and I found myself switching sides with my friends to chat more easily.

I have booked an appointment with the doctor soon, but in the meanwhlile, I was wondering, can that be permanent? Or is it likely that it'll eventually heal and the frequencies will be, at least somewhat, restored? I know forums are not doctors, and I'll see her soon, but I was wondering if some more people could share their barotrauma story, and the healing or permanent damage end.Hopefully that'll be a warning to other beginner divers like me who may read this.. Don't ever force the equalization, even a tiny bit. I thought I didn't push it, and didn't dive too deep either, yet..
 
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glubglub

glubglub

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2007
107
11
58
San Diego
I'm sorry to hear your barotrauma. But if your symptoms is just like mine, it will heal. Just be patient about it (it's easier said than done). As I took the PFI class I also notice that EQ techniques help quite a bit in reducing your chance of injury. Did you try to EQ head tilted up position?
 

geo909

Member
Feb 13, 2013
75
2
18
Canada/Greece
I'm sorry to hear your barotrauma. But if your symptoms is just like mine, it will heal. Just be patient about it (it's easier said than done). As I took the PFI class I also notice that EQ techniques help quite a bit in reducing your chance of injury. Did you try to EQ head tilted up position?
Thanks for the feedback, you give me hope! Well, actually the doctor also said that ("most likely") it will heal and there won't be anything permanent, but it may take a while.

I am worried enough for my hearing now to be too worried about freediving, but that said, how long did it take you until you dived again? My outer ears are fine, so I swim in the pool (on the surface, I mean!), but I won't dive at least before the high pitch noise goes away, but I'm curious about this aspect of your rehab.

As for what I did: my head's position was fine, but I had mucus, and didn't equalize properly. It was not frequent, and it was a little forceful. How stupid.. Well, if I can't be an example, at least I can be a warnng!

On another note, now that I feel hopeful about completely healing in the long run, the high pitching noise is not *that* hard to get used to. I thought it would be a torture, but most of the time I forget about it, especially when there is a little bit of background noise. What do you know!
 
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glubglub

glubglub

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2007
107
11
58
San Diego
About 3-4 months maybe. Felt like forever considering it was my prime time (had chance and had lots of motivation) for diving. Of course I wished I took the courses beforehand; but hey, I think most of us have been there. I was asking about the head position because tucked chin position would have widened your Eustachian more; possibly giving more way for the air to go into the ear, even with mucus thus avoiding injury.

Did you vertigo, though? Also it might help if you get some NSAID like ibuprofen to reduce the swelling; I think if the fluid hasn't drained up after two weeks, your ET is still somewhat swollen.

Loss of high pitch annoys me more when I'm listening to music. It's like there is an ear plug on one side...

Good luck and dive safe!
 

geo909

Member
Feb 13, 2013
75
2
18
Canada/Greece
About 3-4 months maybe. Felt like forever considering it was my prime time (had chance and had lots of motivation) for diving. Of course I wished I took the courses beforehand; but hey, I think most of us have been there. I was asking about the head position because tucked chin position would have widened your Eustachian more; possibly giving more way for the air to go into the ear, even with mucus thus avoiding injury.

Did you vertigo, though?
When it happened, yes, I was slightly disoriented.
Not much, and next day didn't feel it again. Did
you have vertigo for a while?

Also it might help if you get some NSAID like ibuprofen to reduce the swelling; I think if the fluid hasn't drained up after two weeks, your ET is still somewhat swollen.

Loss of high pitch annoys me more when I'm listening to music. It's like there is an ear plug on one side...
Yes, I know. Sad.. I love and play music myself, I really
hope to hear stereo again. Took a test I found online, I
have reduced hearing at 3khz and no hearing at 4khz
from the right ear, but my left can go up to 17khz.

But, you said that your hearing is completely restored,
right? Do you still have issues?

Also, I'm curious, how long did it take for the high pitch sound
to stop in your case?
 
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Bensjamin

Member
Oct 25, 2013
13
0
11
43
Hi guys, I also have the same symptoms as you but did mine In 1m of water at the local pool.
I equalised and instantly a sharp pain shot between both ears.
I'm going to see the doc on Monday. I'll post the outcome.
 

geo909

Member
Feb 13, 2013
75
2
18
Canada/Greece
Hi guys, I also have the same symptoms as you but did mine In 1m of water at the local pool.
I equalised and instantly a sharp pain shot between both ears.
I'm going to see the doc on Monday. I'll post the outcome.
Good luck! I think it's good to have a thread where people discuss those symptoms and compare
the healing process (although only a doctor can say). Myself, I'm still waiting..
 

Bensjamin

Member
Oct 25, 2013
13
0
11
43
I'm seeing the doc on Monday. I think mine could be an infection. At least I'm hoping. I guess. Good luck.
 

Fitzy_1982

Underwater Ninja
May 7, 2010
276
41
68
Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne
I've never had problems with my ears until recently. Spent a lot of time in the water spearfishing last summer. On the 1st occasion I pulled up after a dive with ringing in my right ear and I felt dizzy. After a few hours the ringing went so I never thought anything of it. A week later it happened again without the dizziness but the ringing lasted for a few days. This was the end of the Australian summer in around June so I wasn't diving a whole lot over the winter and the ringing completely disappeared.
We're now in spring and things are kicking off again. After a long dive a month ago I got a nasty skin infection and ear infection from my wetsuit. The ringing started a couple of days after the ear infection kicked in and it hasn't left. Went to a specialist last week and he said it all looks fine now and get back into it. He said if it's evident that freediving is making it worse I'll have to consider whether I'm going to continue with it(shoot me now).
Went for a quick dive last night even though the ringing was there slightly. Afterwards the ringing was definitely worse however there is no discomfort.
Don't fancy having to sit out a whole summer of diving. I'm going to give it a break for a couple of weeks and go again.

Any thoughts? I'm going to go to another ear specialist and get a second opinion. When I do dive, I'll be paying special attention to how I equalise. If it gets worse I may just have to sit out the summer until it completely subsides.