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  1. #211
    Prior Member Tim Digger's Avatar
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    Only thing I would add for when you start diving even in a pool is pop your ears before going under and immediately after cracking the surface. Also a long custom moulded mouthpiece like a Seacure might help hold the mouthpiece in place in some of your more extreme jaw manoeuvres. https://seacuremouthpiece.com/
    Last edited by Tim Digger; 22-05-2022 at 05:48 PM.
    Evolution is great at solving problems. It's the methods that concern me.
    Tim Digger

  2. #212
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    @Ihsaan, @Tim Digger

    Can an eardrum that has been damaged through retraction, heal itself and stiffen if the negative pressure issue is solved? Ive been researching this alot and haven't found a definitive answer.


    My valsalva inflations are still going really well, and i don't need to put much effort in at all now to get them to inflate, but Im now noticing that I can feel my eardrums feeling a bit 'flappy' sometimes. This makes sense as they have been stretched and have lost some structural integrity. I feel the need to do multiple inflations per day now to keep them inflated a little because if I don't, they feel 'loose'.

  3. #213
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    If damaged, an eardrum can heal itself and often stiffens through a scarring process.
    The flappy sensation is probably the return to normality as they should move more freely during pressure changes.

  4. #214
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    Hi all,

    You may remember back in 2019 I bought an ear ottoscope from Amazon so I could see what my problem was for myself. Here is what my eardrums looked like back in March 2020 which was the last time I used my camera before today. I have annotated the image showing how the retracted membrane is attaching itself and stretching itself over the structures in the middle ear. It is literally like it is being shrink wrapped, which is physically what is happening due to the lower middle ear pressure from dysfunctional eustachian tubes not allowing pressure to equalise naturally.




    I have been reluctant to look inside my ears again lately because I was worried what I might see. But today I plucked up the courage to look at it. I've been able to inflate my ears regularly now for nearly three months and have been doing it multiple times a day. However I still think it doesn't happen on its own - if I don't do it manually then it doesn't work. Anyway here is how they look today!



    Personally I think this improvement is massive. My eardrums are not cosmetically pretty of course, because they have been damaged for years, but they appear to be broadly in the right position and not attaching themselves excessively to the malleus or stapes. On the right ear especially, the eardrum is visibly far less deep into the middle ear than it was before.

    My hearing seems to have improved alot as well.


    And finally here is a video file of my ears actually popping. It took a few goes to get the camera to work properly so I had already popped them a few times before this video was successfully taken, which is why they already look a bit mangled outwards and don't move a great deal - but if you look carefully you can see it happen. If I waited a few hours before inflating them, it would be more prominant.

    https://youtu.be/6Ld6IpOQyeI
    Last edited by dangerousdan; 27-03-2021 at 04:24 PM.

  5. #215
    Prior Member Tim Digger's Avatar
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    Excellent I think hard persistent work has paid off. Even if you never dive I think this has improved matters immensely. Just be very careful when you do try to dive and remember it is usually more difficult to equalise your middle ear cavity when it is already under pressure. Equalize before and frequently. Though I would agree you have pretty scarred and fibrosed ear drums. Thanks for the pictures.
    Evolution is great at solving problems. It's the methods that concern me.
    Tim Digger

  6. #216
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    I dived properly yesterday!!!! To 18m.

    And my equalising was fine.

    I did it throughout the morning before entering the water, before descending, and obviously all the time through the dive.

    The dive wasn't perfect, I have some things to work on, but Im really pleased my ears worked.

  7. #217
    Prior Member Tim Digger's Avatar
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    Very pleased and some what amazed that you have got this far. Well done please still do not dive if you cannot inflate your ears on the surface (colds allergies etc). But otherwise enjoy your diving.

    And very much thanks for your feedback over a long journey.
    Last edited by Tim Digger; 22-05-2022 at 05:49 PM.
    Evolution is great at solving problems. It's the methods that concern me.
    Tim Digger

  8. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Digger View Post
    Very pleased and some what amazed that you have got this far. Well done please still do not dive if you cannot inflate your ears on the surface (colds allergies etc). But otherwise enjoy your diving.

    And very much thanks for your feedback over a long journey.

    Thanks for yours and everyone's help along the way, particularly want to thank Ihsaan, who was kind enough to see me in person early on when I discovered my problem.

    I always thought this problem must be solvable, but trying to actually do this was, if I'm honest, alot more difficult than it should have been really. After multiple consultant visits and tests (which themselves took months to get), in the end, even though I had had the problem for decades, a simple prescription of a nasal steroid (to start to get rid of the chronic inflammation and gunk) followed by a programme of exercising the eustachian tubes several times a day, has restored most of my eustachian tube function and hopefully allowed me now to develop my diving further.

    If Im being critical, got to question why the first port of call from doctors I saw wasn't just to prescribe me the steroid spray. The GP could have done that. It took me several appointments and months to get that and it was kind of a fluke that the one consultant even let me have it at all, he wasn't that keen on giving it to me. That spray started to free things up almost immediately, just enough to enable me to do the next part of it, which was the daily eustachian tube exercising.

    If Im being even more critical, why were doctors messing about 35 years ago installing grommets into my ears and then not bothering to follow up and monitor my issue into my teens. I was too young to know any better then, but they should have done. Could have fixed this problem before it even started when I was a kid.

    I know there has been frustration about my posts over the few years Ive been posting here on this issue and things have got heated at times. I know this isn't a medical forum. But I had nowhere else to go. There isn't any easily available information or advice, and obviously its impossible to get prescription medication even something as straightforward as a steroid spray, without consultations. I was desperate to get any information I could and didn't know where else to go. I realise that not many people will go to the trouble of buying an otoscope to view their own eardrums, but I had to see what was going on for myself. Now I can monitor the condition myself over time and react to what I see, and my knowledge of what's going on inside has developed a long way since Ive been investigating my problem and trying all sorts of things to solve it.

    Crazy thing is that if I'd have never tried to learn to dive, I'd never have known about my problem and in 20-30 years time I'd probably be taking up even more NHS resources having cholesteatomas removed from my ears and ongoing treatment for hearing loss. Its kinda sad to think more widely about how many of our day to day health issues could be solved with some advance monitoring and time, attention and focus on it rather than waiting until its too late then just being reactive with people.


    Anyway. Now I can really start to dive. Can't wait. My girlfriend is learning to dive as well, so hopefully we have some good times ahead.

    All the best.
    Last edited by dangerousdan; 22-05-2022 at 09:47 PM.

  9. #219
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    Great new Dan. Here’s to many diving adventures.


 
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