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problems equalizing

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Feb 10, 2002
I am relatively new to the sport of freediving and can use all the help I can get. I've been able to get below 20m with air to spare but my biggest problem is that I cannot equalize while inverted. I have little trouble equalizing as long as my head is above horizantal but its impossible to balance the pressure otherwise. Is this a common problem? I have been using the valsalva technique is there another one that would be more effective?

baffled and near desperate,

welcome to deeperblue, ibnbatouta

i use to have this problem, but once i started getting sick from dairy products (lactose intolerant) i started to cut back and the problem seemed to go away, my family has a history of sinus troubles and this was no help either.

is the problem with your ears or your sinuses, i dont think it really matters but it might,

anyway the first thing would be to equalize early and often (if youve taken a scuba course you will know this) eric fattah also wrote a document on the frenzel technique, which i personnally believe to be more effective then the valsalva moneauver(how the heck do you spell that word)

anyway i hope this helps
Clean ears

This is a common problem and one of the most common causes is earwax. As earwax builds up in sinks to the bottom of the ear canal because of gravity and when you invert you trap an air bubble behind it with compresses as you attempt to clear. As the pressure of the water increases you have to exert more pressure to move the air bubble but the mechanics of our anatomy is against you. This is also part of way dairy products for some creates problems with clearing as the body produces more mucous. But in your case because you can clear when your head is above your feet that would suggest trapped air more than mucous in the eustachion tubes. By regularly using either an oil and water mixture (1 to 1) that is heated, hydrogen peroxide, or some over-the-counter mixtures one or more times a week a vast amount of clearing problems are eliminated.

Thin_Air suggestion to start clearing immediately is spot on and I think it should be standard operating procedure as it protects your ears. It is quite easy to injure your ears, even at shallow depths, if there is some unnoticed change in your sinus-ear system. Stories abound of divers who have sustained ruptures at relatively shallow depths because of illness or tissue stress. Some people find that a gentle firm continous clearing works best for them. I am more of a puffer and clear in small frequent amounts. If I level out at a depth for a time and then start to descend again I start clearing immediately even though I have already equalized.

But try cleaning your ears. The first time I did I was amazed at the gunk in that came out.

One final think to consider is swimmers ear. If you spent a lot of time in the water growing up you can develop a bony like growth over at the end of the out ear and this can obstruct the membranes that are involved in equalizing. In more extreme cases this material has to be surgically removed. If equalizing is a chronic problem go see and ENT specialist.
like it's your birthday!

get your ears candled. seriously, light one up :D

many message therapy places are doing this now. i've had mine done and it's comfortable, soothing, and pulls small aliens from your inner head! rofl

the dive after i had mine done(and you should wait at least a week) i was able to perform the delonca technique(look ma, no hands!). anyway, this practice(candling) has been around for some time and it's quite safe.

i've also nixed the dairy products. night and day, i tell ya.

welcome aboard,
Anderson, if that gave you the ability for no-hands equalising, then I'm going to get it done too!
I've heard of it, and not thought much about it, but I would do nearly anything for that ability. When working with compressed air, I never have to use nose blocks in the full-face, and when working on scuba, same thing, but inverted freediving at anything steeper than 45 degrees means I have to plug my nose.
Mandy-Rae is gifted like that too.
I will even consider giving up dairy!
Erik Y. ~~~~~~~~~~~([:]^)~~~~~~~~

you can buy the candles in any health food store. they're pretty cheap. following the instructions is pretty simple. the most important thing is to make sure you have a tight seal (what tupperware and walruses both like :D ) this is because the wax is being melted and suctioned up into the hollow candle.

you should have seen the stuff come out of my ears! :yack

i was using the delonca to about 12m. i had to go slow, but it really worked. alot of jaw movement, and if you know how to pop your ears... that helps too.

i have a friend who's a message therapist, and she recommends it done about 2-4 x's a year.

good candling,
my snorkle dude plagerized from erik.y: .._[:]p

ps. i couldn't clear my ears for sh$t before i found this forum! thanks everyone! :)
now im confused,
so what exactly does this ear candle do, (burn your ear to death and then let the wax drip out?)
anyway an explination would be greatly appreciated


senior vince,

go to google.com or your preferred search engine and type in your query! seriously, it's a very common practice and there's about a billion informative sites out there.

anderson :cool:
Oh yeah ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Erik Y.
so basicly the heat from the candle melts the wax and then sucks it out of the ear?

sound very nice and simple, i guess i should try it,
what were the benefits after using the ear candle, how long did you have to wait before you went freediving?

Same problem here

I too have the problem. It simply is impossible to equalize with the head down. I have even endured a camara up my nose to see if something was out of place, but everything is where it is supose to.
However, I talked to Howard(from england) on Ibiza who also experienced some problems earlier. It appeares that the biggest problem is that the muscle, which is suppose to open the canal is weak. It therefore helps to either dive a lot or practice equalizing on score. Until then some of us simply will have to use the ugly method to get down (stopping every 4 meters toget the head up to equalize the pressure). By the way it is easier to do this with a lot of weight, just make sure you have enough power to get up again

Minna :head
When I started, I also wasn't able to equalize upside-down. Then I got a tip, 'put your chin as near your chest as possible' and *wo-hoo*, ears popped and everything went fine.

thanks for the replies

:p Well I guess I have my work cut out for me but I least now I have some ideas
NO MORE DAIRY!! and bring on those ear candles.
thanks for all the info. I was nearly overwhelmed,


p.s. this site is amazing:D

"deep calleth unto deep and at the noise of thy waterspouts all thy waves and billows have gone over me," Ps. 42, the good book
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