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Equalize problem

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Equalize problem

Post Number:#1  Postby jungletribe72 » Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:05 pm

Hello Guys, me and few guys had recently obtain our PADI lisence in Sipadan. We are all new comers in this underwater world and look foward for more adv. dive site. Unfortunately one of our buddy has the defficulties in equalize during 3m dive and unable to make any dive onwards. Understand that he has the deficulties although in normal healty condition from a doctor check up.

Anyone who has the experience appreciate your advice as our buddy has misses one of the great adventure.

Nice knowing you all.

Rgds
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Re: Equalize problem

Post Number:#2  Postby reen » Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:22 pm

Did he decent too fast??
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Re: Equalize problem

Post Number:#3  Postby kimseng the maverick rogue » Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:37 pm

did he have a cold before the dive?
has he got sinus problems?
history of blockage?

i recommend best check with an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) specialist to confirm.
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Re: Equalize problem

Post Number:#4  Postby bijan » Thu Apr 24, 2008 3:58 pm

"Strength is not the attitude of knowing everything, but rather an acceptance of everything"
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Re: Equalize problem

Post Number:#5  Postby LaraCroft » Thu Apr 24, 2008 4:36 pm

Dear jungletribe72..

Hello there and welcome to MUW. I notice that this is your first posting; I hope you could be so kind to introduce urself in the’ Introduction Thread’. We would like to get to know you.

Now back to your question :
I am no Dr. but let me share my personal experience with ‘unable to equalize’.

Scenario
Recently.. which was 4 days before a dive trip I was down with flu(running nose)/fever/cough. I was worried and visited a doctor immediately and told her of my plans to dive in 4days time. She gave me pretty strong medication due to me wanting to get well soonest possible. I rested well and in 4 days my running nose cleared up, no more fever and cough.

BUT little did I know that the flam due to the running nose was clogging my ENT System. I feel well but I just could NOT equalize during my first few dives which caused me to experience severe pain in the left ear. I couldn’t decent beyond 6mtrs.. If I do, it hurts so badly.

My Solution
Lucky for me I always carry a small personal first aid kit and I have ‘Mucosolvan’ in it for flam. Popped one after dinner and went to bed. I was fine the next day and I could dive happily ever after.

Sifoo’s Solution
I discussed my experience with some old experience divers’ instructors. Some suggested that I put my head above a bucket of hot water and cover my head right down to the bucket with a towel and inhale the vapor to clear the congestion. I tried that too.. And it helped.

Sifoo’s Advice
If this happens to you.. never never never force urself to decent further as you MAY rupture your ear drums. And ABORT dive when you feel really uncomfortable.

To all the Sifu’s in da house. Thank you, thank you, and thank you for your advice. Really appreciate them.

So jungletribe72, I hope I could help your friend IF he went through the same scenario. IF not maybe some Doctors in the house could give some opinions.

Cheers!
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Re: Equalize problem

Post Number:#6  Postby jungletribe72 » Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:56 pm

Thanks for the advice.. extreamly fast reply from you guys..

just did put some introduction as recommended. Apologize for that..

Well.. tq v much .. i'm sure my friend would really glad there is hope for him.. im definately, he too will joining this forum soon. Thanks guys...
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Re: Equalize problem

Post Number:#7  Postby bijan » Thu Apr 24, 2008 11:31 pm

like kimseng advised, just to be sure, ask your friend to seek advise from ENT specialist bro..

anybody can recommend a ENT specialist contact to our friend here?
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Re: Equalize problem

Post Number:#8  Postby syamdive » Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:00 pm

i always have a nasal spray on dive trips. just in case get flu during the trip the spray clears the airways, use it before each dive.
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Re: Equalize problem

Post Number:#9  Postby Johnny Ong » Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:33 am

What is nasal spray and "Mucosolvan"?
Can show some pic here? As i hav a very sensitive nose too... :P
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Re: Equalize problem

Post Number:#10  Postby Quero » Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:35 pm

Trouble with equalization can have a bunch of different causes.

Sometimes, like in the thread linked to above, it's a blocked up sinus. In simplistic terms, when you descend under water the pressure builds and builds on the outside of the middle ear (the middle ear is separated from the "world"--outside air and sea water--by the ear drum), making the ear drum bow inwards. The pressure you introduce from the inside by blowing against pinched nostrils presses the ear drum outwards again. If you can't introduce that pressure from the inside because of a stuffy head, you simply cannot equalize.

Other times, it's the way a person's physiology is shaped. If the eustachian tubes are very narrow or if there's some obstruction like a bend in the tube caused by a bony segment of the face pressing on it, the action of pushing air through it becomes extremely difficult. Sometimes a person's nasal passages are formed in an abnormal way (called deviated septum), and this makes equalization totally problematic also.

The only way to know if these are issues is to see a specialist ear/nose/throat doctor, get some scans and evaluate the problem.

I recently had a student who quit trying to dive about 20 years ago because she had equalization problems. I got her through the course and a whole liveaboard trip to the Similans without an ear drum rupture, but each descent was slooowwww going. In the end, once we were back on dry land, she got severe ear infections in both ears. After lots of hospital/specialist visits here and in her home country, it was determined that she worked so hard to equalize that she pushed microbes through narrow eustachian tube passages, where they lodged in an irritated middle ear (from barotrauma), causing infections (so bad that the pressure from inside ruptured her ear drums), effusion (gunk leaking out of her ears), temporary deafness, tinitus (ringing in the ears), and a likelihood of never diving again.

Anyway, the most useful resource for divers that I have seen in regard to ear equalization issues is this one. There's a one-hour video that is really helpful, and a printable version of the main points for more reminders and tips.
Last edited by Quero on Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Equalize problem

Post Number:#11  Postby syaz » Sun Apr 27, 2008 7:05 pm

now that sounds scary..
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Re: Equalize problem

Post Number:#12  Postby tulip » Sun Apr 27, 2008 11:56 pm

Equalize no problem...now air consumption gud  :)
i like to let people using my phone  :D :D
err... huh?
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Re: Equalize problem

Post Number:#13  Postby Mephisto the Heretic » Mon Apr 28, 2008 1:31 pm

tulip wrote:Equalize no problem...now air consumption gud  :)
i like to let people using my phone  :D :D


Oh I see....Sea Timun? is that you?
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Re: Equalize problem

Post Number:#14  Postby Macha G » Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:34 pm

Dear Jungletribe72…I can relate to the excitement experienced by every newbies in scuba diving. Dudes…every dive are an awesome adventure. However, having difficulties to equalize upon decent should not be taken lightly.

I would like to share my recent traumatic escapade with equalization problem…similar happening with Quero student.

It all started with my plan to dive in January, but last December I was struck down with a really bad fever & flu, primarily due to a combination of too much work with lack of sleep & exercise. I consumed some strong medication in order to get well asap. I rested well with a lot of sleep & exercise which cleared up the flu…2 weeks prior to departure. I went for a quick dive prior to the trip to test my new equipment, which was when I realize I experienced difficulty to equalize my right ear upon my slow decent. What I did next was I pinch my nose & ‘forced’ to equalize…it worked.

Everything went well as planned until I arrived at my destination. I experienced the same difficulties to equalize but continued to ‘force’ equalize. Although I manage to do all the dives with some discomfort, I braved myself by playing down the symptoms. With that said, I ended up with an acute inflammation of my right ear where the outer ear canal totally constrict that I ended up unable to hear with my right ear. For the rest of the trip I was medicated with clarinase & antibiotics which helped to reduce the flam & swelling, respectively.

Within a week upon my return on dry land, I ‘felt’ that I have recovered as I was able to hear clearly. Subsequently I went on diving in February and March. It aggravated my situation to which resulted in an acute middle ear infection…it was my bad doing.

Recently I saw an ENT specialist/surgeon who diagnose the problem as ‘serious’, immediately did a minor surgical procedure where he had to perforate by piercing a hole thru the muscle holding the ear drum. The procedure took 2 hrs to clean up the infection in the middle ear. For the next 2 weeks I was on ‘heavy’ medication especially antibiotics, ”sofadex” – eye/ear drops, and “iliadin” – decongestant nasal drops. I’m glad that I had the minor surgery early as it save me from an outcome of being deaf with a likelihood of never diving again.

During my last check up my ENT specialist/surgeon, he has determined the root cause of my problem… I do have a history of coming down with a mild fever resulting in sinus complication which subsequently the minute residual flam worked its way to clog up my middle ear as a result of ‘force’ equalize. This situation can also happen whilst flying and not necessary related to diving only.

Bottom line…the moral of the story is
a) Make sure you understand your current ‘health’ limitations, and be in a good state of health prior to embarking on your dive trips
b) Be prepared by bringing along nasal spray and/or pill popping nasal medication (Clarinase, Mucosolvan, etc.) which is actually a temporary solution.
c) Equalize at surface prior to decent. Don’t force to equalize upon decent. Try other ‘natural’ approaches (swallow your saliva, wiggle your jaw, etc.) to equalize.
d) If equalizing problem persists, do check with an ENT specialist if you have a history of sinus related problems and take corrective measures.
e) Lastly, If possible get a medical doctor as your dive buddy. I did and married to one.


Here’s wishing all MUWians a happy and safe diving.
:icon_rr:
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Re: Equalize problem

Post Number:#15  Postby John F SeaDemon » Mon Apr 28, 2008 7:27 pm

Hi Jungletribe72.

I am no doctor, too. However, I have a condition called post-nasal drip, and this gets worse if I actually have a cold.  There were times when I would get reverse-block plus vertigo that I sometimes feel like passing out underwater especially during ascent.

A remedy suggested was to take a tablet of Clarinase two hours before I commence diving for the day.

So far it has worked.

However, if you do have cold or flu, my advise is to stay topside and protect your ear.

Doctors, please give your input. Thanks.
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Re: Equalize problem

Post Number:#16  Postby tulip » Mon Apr 28, 2008 8:42 pm

Mephisto the Heretic wrote:
tulip wrote:Equalize no problem...now air consumption gud  :)
i like to let people using my phone  :D :D


Oh I see....Sea Timun? is that you?


MACHA's the guy ...  :crybaby2: :crybaby2: :crybaby2: :crybaby2: :crybaby2:
err... huh?
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Re: Equalize problem

Post Number:#17  Postby bijan » Tue Apr 29, 2008 9:59 am

Macha G wrote:Bottom line…the moral of the story is
a) Make sure you understand your current ‘health’ limitations, and be in a good state of health prior to embarking on your dive trips
b) Be prepared by bringing along nasal spray and/or pill popping nasal medication (Clarinase, Mucosolvan, etc.) which is actually a temporary solution.
c) Equalize at surface prior to decent. Don’t force to equalize upon decent. Try other ‘natural’ approaches (swallow your saliva, wiggle your jaw, etc.) to equalize.
d) If equalizing problem persists, do check with an ENT specialist if you have a history of sinus related problems and take corrective measures.
e) Lastly, If possible get a medical doctor as your dive buddy. I did and married to one.


thanks for the input Macha G..

jungletribe72, have ur friend went for checkup with a ENT specialist yet?
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Re: Equalize problem

Post Number:#18  Postby evelynwg85 » Sun May 11, 2008 11:29 pm

Hi, thnks for the post,it did help me a lot.btw, im a rhinitis patient, i've undergoes for the ENT for around 1 and a half year, the nasal spray did help me a lot in the very beginning, but afterward, my sinus still blocked.i've tried to consume normal flu medicine (Piriton), but it's just make me sleepy all the time.  :crybaby2:
mucosolvan?can i buy it at any pharmacy?or did recommendation from doctor?wish to have a try with this medicine for the coming dives..
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Re: Equalize problem

Post Number:#19  Postby Scuba Dynamics » Sun May 11, 2008 11:44 pm

Hi all, I may be wrong in this but I believe that a simple laser surgery procedure can cure this common problem but I emphasis that I believe, NOT sure as I am not medically qualified for anything except consuming medical grade alcohol called Carlsberg Beer :laughing11: :laughing11:
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