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"Lesson Learned" or Opposite of "problems equalizing"

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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The land of ice and snow
Sep 5, 2001
I got myself into trouble this past week. That's what I get for sneaking off to Paamul, mx.

Anyway.. I have never had trouble equalizing my ears and for a few dives down to 6 - 8 meters without equalizing and only slight sense of pressure on my eardrums I figure that 6 - 8 meters is a good place to begin equalizing.... so for several deeper dives as I hit what I believe is the 6 meter mark I equalize. But then one dive in deeper water, as I'm aiming for the bottom, I miss and just as I go to equalize because of slight discomfort (not painful, though) my left eardrum ruptured. NO PAIN AND NO WARNING.... when I came to the surface with bubbles blowing out my ear I got all dizzy and drunk for about 1 minute. My suunto read 11 meters.

So, just a lesson for those that may not have much discomfort under pressure... equalize early! For me... A LESSON LEARNED. Now it's outta the water for me for a month or more I guess. Shoot!

Yikes! Sorry to hear that Fred. I hope you heal up quickly.
Erik Y.
Read and Learn


This is a terrible thing to happen, and it will keep Fred out of the water for some time. Perhaps the rest of the list can learn something from this. Fred suggests to start early with the
equalization process. Early, means early, like even before the dive, start ensuring that your passagways and valves are working. Once into the dive the clearing should be started early and continued. The following document by Eric Fattah is likely the most complete instruction available in writing.


Eric suggests clearing at 10 feet, I start to clear while my feet are
still in the air.

Best wishes,


i also believe you can stretch your tubes a bit before getting wet. extend your lower jaw and move it around slowly. sometimes you can get a better stretch moving your head side to side while doing this.

i just read a excerpt from terry maas' website about equalizing and he suggested never pinching the nose, but pushing up on the nostrils to close them off. this seems to be less stressful psychologically than pinching. i'm yet to try it in the water. i don't know, maybe everyone's already heard of this. :confused:

Kinda good news,

I visited with my local doctor yesterday and asked about getting back into the water... he said at the least a week, most likely two.
Well,... it's kinda good news. I think I'll give it two as much as it's draining. BTW... all the dives before the ruptured drum were terrific! Was in my first cenote (casa cenote) and that was really cool. We'd Love to go back.

posting this mainly for any other 1st time eardrum breakers..

Yesterday I was to the doc and was told the eardrum was healed up.. I figured it was as I haven't been able to blow air through it for sometime now. I guess I still have some fluid on the backside of the eardrum that makes it feel like it's plugged sometimes but most of the time it's feeling O.K. No pain through the whole deal. It's been 2 weeks/3 days. It was great to get back into the pool today. Just so happy it wasn't the up to 2 months heal time I'd heard about. Had to let ya know.

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