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Post-dive ears

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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post dive ears

I have only just started freediving and at the moment am totally limited by my ears - the pool I'm fine but depth is a killer on the ears. I am also a pharmacist and have made up a potion that seems to be helping that your helpful local Chemist should be able to make for you:
Use before and after all time in the water:
acetic acid 3% spirit 70% water to volume. - fill each ear canal and slosh around a bit

Post dives (ie deep when your getting pain) add 1% hydrocortisone to the above formula and use 4 drops in each ear twice daily for no more than 3 days.

Hope this helps, Jules
I want to post here a few thoughts about cleaning the ears after diving and swimming. During work at the pharmacy I am often asked by swimmers and divers what to do. (as free- diver and pharmacy I developed a few suggestions)

First. I think ear candles are crap (sorry, this is my opinion). An otorhinolaryngologist told me, that at people who use them, their acoustic meatus is polluted with grime. The skin is colored black because of it and in bad condition if the candles are frequently used. The skin of the acoustic meatus is very sensible. It is a dermis without a subcutis. The cerumen is necessary to protect the dermis from desiccating and preventing it from infections. It is building up an acid film out of fatty acids and lysozymes. The candles are destroying this protection and infections can develop. Cerumen is normally not a problem, because it is part of the self purification system of the ear. The transport of the cerumen out of the ear is made by an epithelial layer migrations. It can develop a problem if this system disturbed or the ear produces to much. If it has become a problem, the cerumen is washed out with bodywarm water. If the cerumen has become a block, you can macerate it with glycerine or with an hydrogen peroxide solution (3%)
Every swimmer and diver has suffered such an infection of the auditory chanel. But most of this little infections are not even recognized or some people feel a little pain in the outer ear. But sometimes these infections can complicate and cause abszess, furuncolosis, prichondritis or otomycosis.
After diving in salt water the salt water crystalls have an desiccating effect. It is important to get the salt out of the acoustic meatus as soon as possible or the dermis gets injured.
I suggest as first step of the cleaning a lavage with bodywarm water (cold water can perhaps cause vertigo). In every apothecary you can buy a smoll bottle with a pipette (for ear drops usally used). You get this worm water very easy if it is sunny and you put the bottle in the sun before the dive. After the dive flush a pipette full of water in every ear to clean it ( don´t forget to clean the pipette and bottle regularly). With this method you can clean the ears from salt, sand....
A better way is to drop in the auditory channel before the dive some paraffin solution (paraffinum liquidum). The paraffin is building up a protective film, but after the dive the film with the grime has to be removed. You do this with 3% hydrogen peroxide solution ore with ear drops containing acetic acid ( important: these solutions desinfect, too!!).
Here are some suggestions (every pharmacy can mix them)

Acidum aceticum conc. 1,0
Ethanolum 70% ad 50,0


Acidum aceticum conc. 5,0
Aqua dest. 10,0
Alcohol isopropylicus (95%) ad 100,0

There are existing ready made mixtures, too. Some of them contain panthenolum, which good for the regeneration of small injuries.
For restoring the natural fatty film medical purified sesame or olive oil is the best. There are some nose oils available which are good, too. They are containing sometimes vitamin E and A. These vitamins help the skin to regenerate. But in these nose oils sometimes orange or citron oil is mixed in. The essential oils can cause local allergic reactions (like redness or itching).
There is a dispensing, which disinfects and restores the natural fatty film, but it is not able to remove the paraffin or grime.

Glycerinum anhydricum
Alcohol isopropylicus (70%) aa ad 50,0

If you have allready a simple infection, you desinfect often a day with hydrogen peroxid solution 3% or PVP-Iodine solution (Braunol®). Pain killing ear drops are useful, but don´t dive after using them. You might not feel the pain of non equalising.

I hope I can help somebody with this
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