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Orange stuff

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


Aquatic shopper...
Jul 3, 2003
I have noticed that after some sessions with dives to about 7m or 8m I get back to the beach and my spit has orange stuff in it.

Not after every session but after some - I don't think that this is blood but maybe someone can shed some light on this.

It seems to be more from the nasal area rather than the throat - is it residue of gunk from the nasal area ?!

Looks a bit worrying somedays - anyone else get this ?

(Yes, I equalize on the way down, and ascend slowly)

Bit difficult to judge it on the given information alone. Could be the sinuses or lots of other things. Perhaps you could give more information to give a better answer like:

Was the stuff orange or a mixed yellowish and red?
Did you snort it out to be sure that it is from your nose and not the throat?
Did you feel a numb feeling when descending or at depth near your teeth, cheeks, behind the eyes or near your eyebrows?
Did you hear slight crackling on the way up from air forcing its way through a narrow passage?
Did you hear slight crackling on the way down from air forcing its way through a narrow passage?
Did you ever have nasal polyps?
Do you at any days before or after the dive have a bit of yellow mucus from the nose?
Did you have a cold just before or was your nose very stuffy?

Checking wih a doctor is never a bad thing though.
Cheers Roland - here is a more specific answer :

Just normal consistancy light phelm (well, normal for me from swimming in the sea) but an orange colour - no red, just orange.

I brought it up from the top of the mouth area where it goes through to the nose - stuff from the throat came out normal white.

In other words the first lot was orange then after that white. But stuff ejected by snorting from the nose was orangey too.

This leads me to thinking that it is a nose area emission !

Didnt hear crackling other than from the animals in the sea.

Didn't feel like air was going through narrow passages.

Never had nasal polyps.

Sometimes had a bit of dried yellow mucus in nose but not much.

No cold - no blocked nose - I've been doing a bit of pranayama recently - not everyday but when I remember - (some of the basic clearing ones like kapalabathi etc)

Cheers for any more light on this. Ed
Well Ed, the things you describe are not conclusive in a way that with my experience I cannot draw a decent conclusion from this information as to the origin of your problem. This might actually be a good thing, in that it could be only a minor problem that in time could disappear on its own. I would consult a doctor though if it reoccurred. Continuing diving with the problem could worsen the problem or possibly delay any healing process.

If it reoccurs, personally I would consult a doctor and also ask him to consider sinus infection and things like polyps (they can grow suddenly and fast).
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Went today and got down to 12.6m which is the best for me so far. Anyway went with a mate called George who is pretty experienced - apparently I have been equalizing too late and this is causing minor damage to the sinus material - ruptured capilliaries and so on.

The trick is to equalized early (ie on the first stroke down) and then often below that.

Apart from that - a sweet mornings dive !
I do one equalization even just before the duck dive, find it helps quite alot.

Cheers Adrian - I'll give that a go. Also I was wondering if you can "over-equalize" ? I sometimes find that when I equalize, normally around 6m to 8m, sometimes I hear water coming into one ear.

After that I can hear everything underwater, like all the small sounds become amplified.

Normally this only happens in one ear and I surface slowly then the water drains out or it doesnt.

Does anyone know if this is damaging ? Undesirable ?

To me it's like someone has turned up the volume and I quite enjoy hearing the swish of wrasse as they investigate but obviously if it is damaging I'll try to avoid it.

As for equalizing. I find it hard unless there is pressure. This sounds weird but I find that I can equalize with a medium amount of pressure then I hear the ears squeal and the pressure goes.

Is this a classic case of poor equalization technique !

Think I need to go back to the drawing board and go out to practice equalizations. (AND read the Frenzel-Fattah word doc again and again... )
I assume you mean that you get water inside your outer ear...
If so, may I ask if you use a hood and if you flood it before diving?

If the answers are 'yes' and 'no' respectively, then the desirable state is water inside your outer ear and hood all the time, to prevent a reverse squeeze when going down (eardrum out).
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You mean when going up. That's when there is less pressure in your outer ear than in your middle ear causing the eardrum to bulge outwards.

I'm not sure that Ed means he has water in the middle ear - isn't this something to be avoided? How could water get in there unless it's through a busted eardrum or purposeful water equalization (pushing water through the eustatian tubes from the mouth to equalize the inner ear for extremely deep dives?

My not-too-educated theory is that Ed's hearing more sound is due to the eustatian tubes opening and staying opened when he equalizes. I've had this experience of amplified hearing on dry land when practicing equalization and there was no water involved!

If you use a hood and no water gets into the outer ear you could have a wonderful and painful- reverse squeeze. Make sure you do get water in the outer canal on both ascent and descent. The water you hear entering is probably water entering the outer ear, not the inner ear. I think...I think...I think....:)

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Air under a cap can dampen sounds. If the air leaves or shrinks from pressure this could cause a feeling of better hearing underwater.
I hope it is water in the outer ear. Otherwise in the inner ear I would suspect problems.

When you hear your ears squeal and the pressure goes it sounds like a too late equalisation or a wrong technique to me. On the other hand you can also over equalize but when you let go of your nose the over-pressure usually escapes fast.

Try reading the following equalisation document from Eric Fattah for some better understanding of equalisation: www.ericfattah.com/frenzel.doc
Originally posted by Adrian
You mean when going up. That's when there is less pressure in your outer ear than in your middle ear causing the eardrum to bulge outwards.
No, I meant on the way down :), Though I accidently wrote "middle ear" instead of "outer" in the first sentance, maybe that's what throw you off of my meaning. will edit that in a second. We meant EXACTLY the same thing by what's written in your last paragraph. Just the typical hood squeeze.

Ed said "water coming into one ear", not middle ear. So he left has some issues for misunderstandings. :)
On a Similiar Note:

I have a friend that says when she goes into the water and gets water in her ear it does not drain out of her ear, but rather through her sinuses. She says that she hears the water bubbling into her ear when her mouth is closed, then she feels a cold feeling in her sinuses and it drains into her mouth. But apparently it is not coming in her mouth or nose. Does anyone understand this phenomena???

Hey everyone - I wear no hood at the moment (but I would if Elios hurried up....). Just a very worn out surfing 5mm with holes under the arm, back, crotch and knees. More of a neoprene string vest. But anyway, no hood and don't I feel it with the sea at 17C...

So, to clarify:

I have accepted that I am not eqalizing properly and will try to do so earlier.

As for the water. Basically, I go down, equalize by whatever poor method I use (sometimes I squeeze the nose, but more often I relax and wiggle the jaw and open the eust. tubes, the ears squeal, sometimes only one and I have to concentrate to open the other eust. tube), then sometimes I hear the water fill the ear. I dont know if this is the outer or inner, but assume that it is deeper than the outer ear - possibly the middle ear if that is the part a bit deeper than the outer.

Then the sound becomes really clear, I can hear fish swimming. By that I mean the actual water vibrations of them finning past - normally wrasse about 2 foot out from my face. And the crackling underwater from the crustaceans become loud too. Sometimes it gets a bit freaky as I hear a loud swish from a fish from behind - and think it is massive but turn round to be met by a baby wrasse.

Anyway, with the blood from the broken capilliaries in the sinuses - how long should I wait before diving again ?

Should I be out of the water totally ?

Should I limit my dives to 5m or so ?

Anyone any experience of this ?

I havent dived since Sunday morning when I last went and noticed a bit more orange than usual (not on every dive before that but on the dives when equalization was hard - and normally around the 8m mark).

Or do the small capilliaries heal up really quickly ?

I dont seem to be equalizing properly.

I have read the frenzel-fattah doc, most of the threads here on equalizing etc. But still seem to have gone wrong somewhere. I can pop my ears just sitting here and inhale with closed mouth and through nose to give an open eust. tube sound (hear sounds in head etc - described in a previous post as closed mouth yawning or something to do with mother-in-laws from what I remember).

Perhaps I need to deicate time to a proper frenzel-fattah equalization - probably less damaging to the sinuses that I have damaged.

Advice really really welcome !

My understanding:

1) I'de say stay out of the water for a while for soft membrane healing. How long is a while? I don't know, but defenitly more than a week to keep it safe.

2) How about doing good equalizations by pinching your nose instead of trying to do handsfree first? After mastering that, knowing how proper equalization feels and works, improve your hands-free to that standart.

3) I usally hear all those sounds you describe, yet I'm sure I got water only in my outer ear, and I'm quite sure it's not from keeping my e-tubes open since I can't equalize handsfree (yet?).

Water coming into the middle ear have only to ways to enter:
From the eardrum, if it is perforated.
If that's the case, go to an ENT and check it, you should'nt dive at all till it completly heals.
Other way is from the e-tubes, if you have water in your nose or sinuses and equalize with them, it may happen.
It has happen to me a few times from swimming in the sea with no mask/nose clip, but never from normal diving with a mask.
Do you get a lot of water in your mask? or keep the snorkel in your mouth and therefore get water in it?

I find it strange that you will get water in your middle ear and will not feel the pain invloved, though maybe some are insensitve to it? Everytime I do this mistake I feel a sharp/cold pain (even in 30c water) in my middle ear and mutter in my mind something in the sort of "Damn! I did it again!". Luckily for me I never had infections as the result of it.
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Oh dear.

I realized today that I have ommitted a major part of equalizing.

I have totally forgotten to fill the ear canal with water.

So in effect I am trying to equalize against a plug of air in the ear canal.

I forgot to roll my head before a dive to fill the ear canals with water, then when you go down you equalize properly and easily. Or have I got this wrong ? Please let me know.

I discovered this by using a hood. Water got into the ear canal and stayed there - making for pain free equalizing.

Oooops - case of not seeing the woods for the trees !

No wonder it was painful! But how could water not enter the ear canal if you weren't wearing a hood? Perhaps wax was blocking it?

Adrian - not sure - I assumed that water would go in - but seems like I have to roll my head just under the water (without hood) to fill them. Then when I dive it equalises better.

Maybe water does go in but first the air trapped in there has to escape, and this is not escaping until about 5m or something.

Not sure - it helps but thinking about it and what you said maybe it isn't the problem.

It's late - I'll try in the sea tomorrow morning for an hour or so.

Think I have worked it out.

I was equalizing but not all the way - ie releasing some pressure but not all of it. Then continuing deeper, releasing some pressure but not all of it.

ie I was hearing a squeal and thinking that I had equalized but in reality it was only half equalized so this was putting ever increasing and constant pressure on my ears.

Now I find that I equalize at the surface - hear a pop (just a small one) then dive down equalizing a few times until I hit about 3 or 4 metres, I find at this point the pressure builds up and I need to really concentrate on equalizing until I hear the water rush in - kind of like a small gurgle and then you hear the things in the water around you (what I described earlier).

If I havent done this by about 7m then it is a reall struggle to calmly release the pressure - I litterally have to wait at that depth until I have equalised to the point where the water gurgles in.

Kind of hard to explain but I finally realised that haveing the water gurgle in the ear canal is a desirable state and when it happens it feels like there is a balance between the water - it is no longer pushing on the ear drum.

At least thats the best way that I can explain it.

Hopefully I'll put it to good practice today.

Been shallow diving and waiting longer periods recently so as to give my ears/sinuses time to heal up. Have noticed alot less blood recently and then yesterday none.

THink I am begining to get the hang of it.

Tip for anyone starting to go deeper (below 10m) just have to make sure that you FULLY equalize before you descend. Seems like an easy enough task but for me I am not used to it and have picked up the bad habit of half-equalizing - so do it right kids !

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