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Squeaky ears

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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Well-Known Member
Sep 5, 2002
I've been freediving for a week now in Dahab. Everything was going well. 2 days ago, while on a warm-up dive to 10m, my left ear was squeaking loudly during equalizing. Never had this before. Then vertigo set in & I had to go up. It felt like I had truly ruptured my ear. Although, there was no popping sound, the pain was intense on the surface. After a visit to the ENT specialist, he concluded that I had ruptured my ear, but couldn't get a proper visual. There was a steady discharge from the ear & pain. It seems the a/c and 4 glasses of wine were the culprit, causing inflammation of the nasal cavities, sinuses, tubes. So I must've equalized too hard and pushed the drum to explode outwards.
It's all fine, but can someone explain the squeaky ears & the unprecedented perforation so shallow.
Thx much
Sorry to reply late, but I can contribute:

I hit my right ear in Dahab in 2019. Flew in with a slight cold, went freediving, got feverish, gave myself two days to recover. Then I started again, "only shallow depth, doing some harmless exercises" down to 20 meters max. Heared that SQUEAKING SOUND in my right ear, could feel the mucus being pressed through the tube. I was thinking, that "as long as I can eaqualize, there is nothing bad about it". On the fourth or fifth dive on coming up after 20m there was an unpleasant feeling with a little pain inside the ear, I thought of a reverse block, but no real bad pain and it went away on the surface. After one more dive I quit and called it a day.
Went to the medic and got some prescription for better clearing of the cavities, took some pseudoephedrine pills and some drops for the nose. One day break, then I went again. No more mucus due to medication, and very rare dive times. I remember a warm up dive to 20 m that took 3:30. I came up completely calm and relaxed. Went down to near my max, still feeling a little strange, not really well, but very relaxed. Next day similar thing, I hit 50m, but only few dives and still feeling not too well. Next day rest day: In the morning I woke up in total silence. I turned my head on the pillow and with the left ear I suddenly could hear the birds and the wind in the palm tree in front of the window. When I covered the left ear in the pillow there was silence again: I had lost most of my hearing on the right side. Panic, a rush to the doctor but it was friday and everything closed.
Next day the local medics were unclear in their diagnose: Some inflammation, prescription for antibiotics, hearing will likely recover as soon as the inflammation goes away.
When I came home five days later, I went to see various specialists, got some steroids injected to the middle ear but my hearing did not completely recover. There was a hole left from the injections in the eardrum, that took 5 month close again. No diving for 8 month total, always taking care of the right ear.
I got used to the little tinnitus that had come along with the sudden hearing loss and compensated the loss of high frequencies with the other ear. Went freediving again, some very nice dives in egypt and the mediterranian, so far not deeper than 35 m.

2 weeks ago I had some consecutive days OFF and went for freediving to a lake nearby. On the third day I experienced the squeaking sound of the mucus in the right ear again. Again I did not give up immediately, but finished my FRC & fluid goggle exercises, thinking that I was "doing it safe and slowly" . When I came out of the water everything was fine. When I put my regular eardrops to the outer ear, suddenly the mixture of alcohol and acid burnt like fire. When I equalized I could feel that air was blowing out of the eardrum: It was perforated again. I must have blown my eardrum trying so hard to equalize and pressing the mucus through the tubes or it must have been a reverse block on coming up that let the eardrum burst.

Saw the same doctor again who finally treated my ears in 2019, she says the drum has closed meanwhile and it will likely be OK again, the hearing tests are not too bad. But I finally know I will NEVER dive even 1 meter more when I hear that squeaking sound.
Thanks for this interesting read. I wonder if you have any strategy how to treat this issue. Any advice on how to clear your tubes?
Thanks for this interesting read. I wonder if you have any strategy how to treat this issue. Any advice on how to clear your tubes?
I've had the sound before and it was the air trying to pass through the mucus in the eustachian tube. The problem of course was the mucus getting in there. The result for me was mucus entering the middle ear, causing me a middle ear infection. I did not rupture any eardrum, but I can see how it could happen.

The solution for me was taking antihistamines. I have bad allergies on dry land and a face mask pressing on my nose tends to irritate my nose and start causing allergy symptoms in the water. The mucus builds up then forces its way in my tubes. The ear infections was becoming a constant problem for me, but ever since taking antihistamines, the problem has completely disappeared. Other friends of mine go through other sinus related issues and have taken decongestants like Sudafed or Afrin. Decongestants work, but can also raise your blood pressure.
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