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Old 08-15-2014, 11:27 PM   #1
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Default want to get certified but may have a problem

My son has been after me for years to get certified, and i really want to get certified also. However, when i was just a baby i had tubes put in my ears and have been told several times that i would not be able clear my ears underwater. Last week we went snorkeling off the beach and were taking turns trying to dive to the bottom 20-25ft i guess, i could not for the life of me get my ears to clear, on land at altitude i have no problem. is this gonna cause me not to be able to dive.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:47 PM   #2
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Default Tubes in Ears

I am not sure about your ear tubes but next time you visit the doctor see if your situation has changed and if you still need them and find out if they are removable. When you dive or snorkel your eardrum will flex a bit and over time you will get better and find diving to depth a little easier. Don't force the dive if you are in pain or feel like you might have to keep up with the other diver. I snorkeled with a guy who said he could snorkel dive about 50 feet or more and at the time I was lucky to go 20 feet. He went beyond that and my head felt like it would implode. I did not go to the 50 foot mark. 20 and done. I didn't even try to keep up with the guy. One of the guys with us tried to keep up and came out of the water with an empty sinus cavity and blood draining from his nose. Not a pleasant sight and he didn't dive with us again. Just be careful out there because it is very enjoyable and can be accomplished without pain. You can also pick out the fish you want when you do it.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:54 PM   #3
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Tubes as a kid, I don't exactly see how that could be an issue. I know folks that've had them and dive today. That is just a drain tube through the ear drum that allows the middle ear to drain. Once they fall out, and they do fall out, the eardrum heals itself and it's back to business as usual.

As for clearing, you say you can clear as you descend in an aircraft? it's the same principle only distance compressed considerably. Snorkeling and scuba are different in that with scuba you have MUCH more working air pressure to clear with. Most beginners that have trouble clearing because there ear "hurts" and they have a subconscious (or conscious) fear of "pushng" because they don't want it to hurt worse, If you gradually and steadily press harder and harder the ear will clear before OVER extending and then hurting again. Just remember, if you're ears ache on the way UP, that is a reverse block and you DO NOT PUSH...but rather pause and wiggle your lower jaw in an over exaggerated way as to open the tubes allowing the ear pressure to relieve.

I think you could do it. the most significant depths as far as ear pain is concerned is the top 30-40 as the pressure differential becomes less and less per depth.
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Old 08-16-2014, 06:33 PM   #4
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We had an ear/nose and throat doctor on a dive trip who looked at all of our ears after a day of diving. Most of us had a little blood residue but nothing bad. I remember that mine would try to close up on me and it would take a while to clear. Back then they recommended non-drowsy Sudafed. I think that you might want to talk with a specialist.
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:55 PM   #5
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Tubes as a kid, I don't exactly see how that could be an issue. I know folks that've had them and dive today. That is just a drain tube through the ear drum that allows the middle ear to drain. Once they fall out, and they do fall out, the eardrum heals itself and it's back to business as usual.

As for clearing, you say you can clear as you descend in an aircraft? it's the same principle only distance compressed considerably. Snorkeling and scuba are different in that with scuba you have MUCH more working air pressure to clear with. Most beginners that have trouble clearing because there ear "hurts" and they have a subconscious (or conscious) fear of "pushng" because they don't want it to hurt worse, If you gradually and steadily press harder and harder the ear will clear before OVER extending and then hurting again. Just remember, if you're ears ache on the way UP, that is a reverse block and you DO NOT PUSH...but rather pause and wiggle your lower jaw in an over exaggerated way as to open the tubes allowing the ear pressure to relieve.

I think you could do it. the most significant depths as far as ear pain is concerned is the top 30-40 as the pressure differential becomes less and less per depth.
All of the above .... and remember, ear clearing (equalizing) is a skill that can be practiced & improved.

But yeah, tubes when one was a kid? - they almost always heal over. If in doubt ... see an ENT, they can tell you for sure. A regular family doctor probably can as well.
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Old 09-05-2014, 05:49 AM   #6
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start equalizing BEFORE it starts to hurt and then again and again as you go down. Tubes as a child wont keep you from diving my son had tubes and he dives ever chance he gets never had a problem. What you are doing is keeping the The tube that leads from the throat to the inside of the ear drum open. You also have sinus cavities that can give you pain problems but those usually hurt on ascent from a reverse squeeze. Just take it slow and before it hurts.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:19 AM   #7
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start equalizing BEFORE it starts to hurt and then again and again as you go down. Tubes as a child wont keep you from diving my son had tubes and he dives ever chance he gets never had a problem. What you are doing is keeping the The tube that leads from the throat to the inside of the ear drum open. You also have sinus cavities that can give you pain problems but those usually hurt on ascent from a reverse squeeze. Just take it slow and before it hurts.
Exactly what I did when I was diving. Keep your ears pressurized before they hurt not after...
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Old 09-05-2014, 12:13 PM   #8
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Snorkeling is not a good indicator of how you are going to perform, while diving, in regards to equalization. When you dive, as a snorkeler, this function has to happen VERY FAST.

If you set up your tank dives properly, you can descend slower and it gives you more time to process equalization without any pain. Try descending down a line (can be anchor line) in a 'head up' attitude. MUCH EASIER to equalize in this attitude as opposed to 'head down'.

Another little trick is to try equalizing your ears BEFORE you enter the water. Everybody is probably going to say that this has no value but I have found that it is helpful. Also, equalize more often than you think is required. If you have one ear that is more difficult than the other, turn that ear toward the surface as you squeeze.

This is just a learned skill. After a while you will be able to easily equalize just by manipulating your jaw. Look Mom, no hands!!!!!

Have fun. It really is a great sport and if you lose out on getting involved you are only missing a significant portion of the earth.
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Old 09-05-2014, 03:34 PM   #9
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I took a tour of the DAN facility in North Carolina if I remember right. We all jumped in a multiplace chamber and I was taught how to equalize just by manipulating my jaw. Before that I always used my nose and would start at the top of the water before going down.

I never had a pain I'm the ear at any times and it took a couple of years to be able to go head first.
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