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spitting orange saliva

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New-born freediver
Aug 1, 2003
I found myself spitting orange dense saliva
after freediving to no more than 10 meters!!

I always have to stop a little at around 7 meters to equalize
(i'm an absolute beginner) and in some of this stops
i wasn't able to equalize and felt some ear pain.
I thought it was something about ear problem, but no pain in the surface!!

any ideas where is this orange coming?
could it be blood or some floid from the sinus/ears?
could it be from the lungs??
sounds like lung blood to me.. pretty amazing from that depth but the bright orange ness gives it away
when you say dense do you mean frothy? if so then almost definitely. were you particularly tense that day? did you have a cold?
there is another fairly recent thread on here about coughing blood from a friend of mine who coughed blood diving from his lungs after diving in June. lots of stuff on there

hi sam!
thanks for the answer... i've been doing some research about lung squeeze at the forum and discarded the condition totally. I had absolutely no pain in my chest nor in my throat and as long as i can remember (ouch... this is too explicit :) ) i discovered
it the first time becase when i put off my mask, the nose part was covered with orange colored mucus (hehe :) ). I'm still wondering what was it..
in fact i had no pain in any part of my body (apart from the ears) and
continued diving with no decreasing performace... and yes, it was frothy....
and another clue is that i didn't feel like that colored mucus (i woudn't call it blood) came from my throat....i t was simply in my mouth after the dive... i think it comes from my nasal tract...
but exactly from where and because of what??
i don't know..
it was pretty shallow dives (no more than 10 meters or the most 15 meter). no empty lung dives, no hanging at that depth.. In fact... i remember i was learning frenzel to pass the 8 meter depth and practicing the technique at that depth... maybe improper technique?? my ears hurted a little 'too much' after those dives...

so any clues?? :)

This may seem like a silly idea but perhaps you were pinching your nose too hard? Or it could have been some rupturing in the sinus. We'll discard a jellyfish gettig into your mask! ;)

Ear wax can be the "orange thing". The middle ear is connected to the pharynx by the eustachian tube which permits the passage of air between the nose and the middle-ear cavity. When the eardrum opens during equalization, ear wax can be pushed inside by the pressure. The result: ear wax in your saliva.".
I used to have problems with the sinus when I was younger. Once I had problems equalizing at ~ 10 m and I felt quite nasty pain right between the eyes. It was like I someone has filled my forhead with lead! I was wondering what might have happened, but continued to dive repeatedly at the max depth possible... At some point I felt great relief and something like tears in my eyes... After that I found my mask filled with bright orange-yellowish stuff. I went immediately to my dad who's a doctor and a diver and he told me that this stuff usually fills the sinuses when you have sinusitis (?). Usually the doctors do some kind of nasty punction to take it out, but in my case it happened naturally cause of the pressure. The next few days the yellow stuff continued to come out as I was diving and stopped at some point. The local divers told me to sniff sea water through the nose cause it's good for any inflamation of the nose, which I didn't believe much but after that a doctor told me the same thing - it's just that the water contains iodine or whatever.
One way or another, I had not problems with the sinuses this season, and the next one the yeallow stuff came out only during the very first dive.
I never had any problems ever since...
In my opinion the "orange thing" is from the sinuses. It is a mixture of blood and mucus. The possible reason is one ore some of your entrences of the sinuses are to small (lot of people have this, but only divers notice it) then not enough air to equalize proper goes in and cause of the negative pressure some little blood vesssels burst in the sinuses and when you come to the surface the blood and mucus mixture runs through the nasal tract in your pharynx.
The inner ear is not involved, i think. If a small blood vessel in the inner ear bursts in the deep only a small amount of the blood could come after surfacing through the eustachian tube in your mouth. you would not recognize this. But you would recognize a numb feeling in the inner ear (and it would last a few days) and you would have a really bad vertigo.
A lung squeeze is not possible in 10m(only if it was a dive on empty lung). "The orange thing" after a lung squeeze is fluid from an alveolar lung oedema. But the lung oedema is only possible if you go very deep. If you have a total lung capacity of 6 l and a residual volume of 1.5 l you could go to 30m without a risk if an oedema (6 : 1,5 =4bar; are 30meters). If the total volume is during the dive smaller then the residual volume, a negative pressure in the lung could develope and an oedema would be the result. ((In this calculation the blood shift is not encounted)).
You must not be afraid in a depth of ten meters of the lung squeeze!!!!

@ fert: nice joke your theory!!! All anatomy books fail
None of the above

You were drinking orange Gatorade, Energade or similar before / during diving.
This coloured your 'slunge' orange.

Last edited:
Uaghhhh!!! ear wax in my saliva!!! i promise
i'll never tell my girlfriend about that! :)
well.. thank you for the answers guys...
next time I'll catch all the details to know what is all about....

Adrian, I also think is someting related with equalizing... but people who had equalization problems tend to bleed red and pure blood, not so diluted... so what's the point??

well the important think is that i'm now perfectly fit and healthy :)
Christoph, it happened to me with some ear pain earlier this season. My otorhinolaryngologist said be not anxious it was probably just ear wax diluted in saliva. That was his opinion. I'm not a doctor, you're a pharmacy student, I'm sure you can tell a 30 years of experience otorhinolaryngologist's opinion is just a joke.

Sorry BlueIcarus if my theory wasn't the reason of your strange saliva.
sorry Fert, i didnt want to insult you. But i doubt definitely that ear wax can be found in saliva. It is anatomically not possible.
I hope you're right Christoph, the only reason why I trust my otorhinolaryngologist is because he's the only professional who has see me and found an answer to explains my case. Maybe it wasn't the same thing for BlueIcarus but his symptom looks like mines.
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