All this may be known to you already, but there's a speculation at the end. :Originally posted by efattah
...In the water, in order for me to equalize hands free, I have to go to no more than 3-4 feet, feet down, and then spend about 30 seconds struggling to flex the hands-free muscles as much as humanly possible....
As how I understood the physics of pressure, the softest thing will give-in inorder to compensate for the pressure lose.
What more, the eardrum is not the first thing to be affected by the pressure at depth, but actually the e-tubes themself.
They are soft walled and the ear drum is supposed to be stretched. At the first increase of pressure the tubes start to collapse (thighten that is, not like a sinus colapses), after that, when we already have a decreased equalization ability due to already tightened e-tubes, the ear drum starts to flex and give us the signs.
It has probably happen to every one that they've descended a bit faster than intended and discovered they can't equalized at all. That's the e-tubes tightened to the max.
So what I figure, in theory, if you can equalize hands free out side of water, it means that you can equalize inside water against the SAME pressure that you equalize dry (the same tightness of the tubes). could be that 1 meter of water (3-4 ft) is too much for you - if I'm not mistaken (please correct me if I am) it's equivalent to a descend from 850 meters to sea level.
I don't know if it's realistic to try and equalize more then once per meter for the first meters, but at depth you would'nt have to do it so frequent, so maybe if not for the begining of the dive, the for the rest of it.
Tell me what you think.