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  1. #161
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    Hi all,

    Ive been to see an ENT consultant at the hospital today. They first did a hearing test followed by a pressure test on each ear drum, then I saw the consultant.

    My hearing is ok, and the pressure test was reasonable also - both eardrums were mobile. I can hear slightly better through my skull bones than through my ears, which he said was to be expected because of the eardrum retraction.

    The consultant said that the chronic retraction was evidence of an underlying eustachian tube dysfunction but that there was no need for any intervention on my ear drums or hearing bones -it wasn't bad enough to warrant anything doing.

    He then suctioned out some wax from my left ear. In my last picture above, that silvery film was actually a thin membrane of wax! The eardrum was underneath. That was a real surprise, to find that wax could form as its own sort of membrane in that way.

    He then had a look in my nose with a camera, and whilst I didn't see for myself what was there he told me the eustachian tube openings were clear and looked normal.


    We discussed my ability to voluntarily pressurise my middle ears. He said he couldn't do it either (he wasn't a diver). He said most people can't do that voluntarily/reliably, and that whilst there was evidence of dysfunction, the satisfactory pressure test does reveal that the tubes must open up from time to time. This is consistent with my own experience, i.e that sometimes the tubes do open up but I can't do it voluntarily.

    He is going to pass me on to another consultant who does the eustachian dilation procedure.


    So all this is fairly good news I think.

    But it does kinda leave me back at square one - an inability to voluntarily/consistently equalise my ears.

    One of the very first questions I asked in this thread - do I blow hard enough? Is there anyone I can go to to help me train my technique and tell me if Im not blowing hard enough?

  2. #162
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    Good news Dan

  3. #163
    Established TDF Member Wardy_uk's Avatar
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    I kinda lost the plot on this thread about half way through...

    but has anyone on here advised you try one of these https://tinyurl.com/tpqhqxr ? (other brands are available)

  4. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wardy_uk View Post
    I kinda lost the plot on this thread about half way through...

    but has anyone on here advised you try one of these https://tinyurl.com/tpqhqxr ? (other brands are available)

    Yes I have one. I cant/wont blow hard enough to inflate the balloon. This is why I wonder if i am blowing hard enough, but I dont want to risk pushing really hard without guidance/supervision.

  5. #165
    Established TDF Member Wardy_uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangerousdan View Post
    Yes I have one. I cant/wont blow hard enough to inflate the balloon. This is why I wonder if i am blowing hard enough, but I dont want to risk pushing really hard without guidance/supervision.
    gradually increase your blow till the balloon slowly inflates

  6. #166
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    I think now that the Valsalva method is not ideal for me, for whatever reason my tubes dont open easily against pressure so i need to be focusing on learning to use the throat muscles more effectively.

    Ive previously mentioned that my ears can pop when weightlifting. Im not holding my nose doing this so im thinking its not the valsalva doing it but the straining of various muscles, which involuntarily might include the throat.

    Ive been watching some videos of the other techniques like Frenzel but dont know if im doing them right. They involve actions like lifting the tongue and moving your adams apple around.
    Last edited by dangerousdan; 27-11-2019 at 01:54 PM.

  7. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangerousdan View Post
    I think now that the Valsalva method is not ideal for me, for whatever reason my tubes dont open easily against pressure so i need to be focusing on learning to use the throat muscles more effectively.

    Ive previously mentioned that my ears can pop when weightlifting. Im not holding my nose doing this so im thinking its not the valsalva doing it but the straining of various muscles, which involuntarily might include the throat.

    Ive been watching some videos of the other techniques like Frenzel but dont know if im doing them right. They involve actions like lifting the tongue and moving your adams apple around.
    I fear we may have been over this point a number of times...

    You're not going to be able to master any of these techniques sat in front of your computer or when watching videos. If I kept trying to do it now, I'd just end up hurting myself. Your ears are currently equalised... You can't equalise them any more. Trying to "blow harder" will not make your ears feel good.

    This is the kind of thing you want to be getting comfortable with in the pool. Take as long as it takes. The tone and content of your posts leads me to believe you're a bit of a worrier. There might not be any issue at all, it could just be the usual struggles that most people have when starting out.

  8. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWdiver View Post
    I fear we may have been over this point a number of times...

    You're not going to be able to master any of these techniques sat in front of your computer or when watching videos. If I kept trying to do it now, I'd just end up hurting myself. Your ears are currently equalised... You can't equalise them any more. Trying to "blow harder" will not make your ears feel good.

    This is the kind of thing you want to be getting comfortable with in the pool. Take as long as it takes. The tone and content of your posts leads me to believe you're a bit of a worrier. There might not be any issue at all, it could just be the usual struggles that most people have when starting out.

    Your right, I am a bit of an over thinker. However, I don't think its true that I shouldn't be able to detect/do this on the surface.

    I found a really good video on Youtube from an American ENT, which demonstrates my point. The whole thing is an hour long lecture (which is really good if you have the time/interest), but if you watch from 11:30 to approx 14:45 , he gets people on stage and has a live camera showing what happens when they try to equalise their ears. The first girl can push her eardrum out just fine, even though it doesn't actually need 'popping' as such. The second lady cannot do it. They get a few more up on stage at the end of the video and do the same (41:45 onwards).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXx3S74XPhY

    None of those ears need to be popped as such, pressure is equal on both sides. What it shows is that those people are able to increase pressure in the nose cavity and that transfers to the middle ear easily enough. This means their eustachian tubes are easily opening against a slighly higher pressure in the nose, even though its on the surface.

    If I can't do that on the surface, it doesn't bode well for under water.
    Last edited by dangerousdan; 27-11-2019 at 08:29 PM.

  9. #169
    Established TDF Member Wardy_uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dangerousdan View Post

    If I can't do that on the surface, it doesn't bode well for under water.
    The two aren’t comparable - practice equalising in the water, and blowing up the nasal balloon when your not diving...

    Or continue to ignore the the helpful advice we’ve all given you, and risk buggering up your ears trying to do it your own way...

  10. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wardy_uk View Post
    The two aren’t comparable - practice equalising in the water, and blowing up the nasal balloon when your not diving...

    Or continue to ignore the the helpful advice we’ve all given you, and risk buggering up your ears trying to do it your own way...
    Did you watch the section of video I pointed to?


 
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