Hi all. Im new here and to scuba diving, having just started doing the PADI OW course.
I'd like to talk about equalising the ears because its the thing Im most worried about. At the moment Im just diving in a 2m pool so don't have the opportunity yet to properly test whether I can equalise at greater depths. I guess the biggest reason Im worried about it is due to lack of experience with it, sometimes problems on planes and childhood issues where I had grommets fitted, but this was around 30 years ago now when I was between about 8 and 12 ish.
I am well versed with the valsalva from doing weightlifting, and am used to doing this against a closed epiglottis with open mouth also.
Ive also been practising the frenzel technique.
The main problem is that Im not sure what 'popping' my ears is really supposed to feel or sound like. How much of a pop is it supposed to be, or is it more like an almost inaudible crackling (sort of like when you stretch your knuckles for example), or is it more like a feeling of pressure or movement inside the head with no sound at all?
You know when you have a cold and blow your nose, but youre pretty blocked up and you end up really popping your ears big time, so much so that you can hear yourself breathing through your nose? Does anyone get that? It sounds as if youre actually breathing through your ears which I know is impossible. When this happens I can almost feel my ear drum moving in and out as I breathe in and out. Im not sure if its supposed to be that prominent a pop or something much more subtle. Are the tubes stuck open in that situation and thats why I can hear/feel myself breathing in my ear(s)?
I can always hear a slight crackle if I just swallow, for example if I take a big drink I can kinda feel a crackle inside my ears when I swallow.
And if I valsalva against closed nostrils I can kinda feel my inner nose pressurise but I don't get a pop feeling and I don't know if Im pushing hard enough to open the tubes, but I daren't push harder just in case.
I also can 'hear' / 'feel' more of a crackle/pressurisation in my right ear compared to my left. When I have a cold and blow my nose it can be either ear that goes big pop.
I have an ottovent balloon thing too, which I bought a few years ago when I had a really bad blocked ear problem that lasted weeks. I couldn't hear anyone speaking it was that bad.
Im not sure how I will tell if my ears have properly popped or not whilst underwater.
Obviously various concerns with this!