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  1. #11
    TDF Member NW6 1TH's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot for all your help!

    My friend doesn't think she has any physiological problem preventing her from equalising, since it immediately happens when she swallows. But since she says she needs something like 30 seconds to gather enough spit to be able to swallow, if she descends at the rate of one swallowing per meter, by the time she's reached the desired depth, she'll almost have to ascend again.

    On top of that, she was scared she'd harm her eardrums by the force she had to apply when trying to do the Valsava manoeuvre. Since no matter how hard she tried, she only succeeded in equalising once using Valsava during alll her OWD dives, it looks like the VM has more risks than advantages for her, doesn't it?

    In spite of all, she didn't have any ear problems after the dives (other than, as I said, her ears popping every time she swallowed for many hours afterwards). She just says that whenever she finally managed to swallow, the pop was incredibly loud (which I suppose proves pressure behind her eardrums had built up a lot, though not enough to cause any harm).

    Gurning might be a solution. I'll let her know about it. If not, is there any way she could produce more spit underwater? Anxiety won't help, for sure, but the solution a well-meaning fellow OWD student suggested, chewing gum, sounds too crazy even to consider it.

  2. #12
    Gone diving back later Vanny's Avatar
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    Does no one just pinch their nose anymore ?

  3. #13
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    She doesn’t need to feel a pop occurring. If she can descend without pain then her ears are equalised.

  4. #14
    Pedantic Pig Divemouse's Avatar
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    This is true, mine have never popped - one might make a slight rushing sensation if I leave it too long, the other does nothing at all.
    Definitely don't doubt Dawn - not if you value your life

  5. #15
    TDF Member NW6 1TH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ihsaan View Post
    She doesn’t need to feel a pop occurring. If she can descend without pain then her ears are equalised.
    Quote Originally Posted by Divemouse View Post
    This is true, mine have never popped - one might make a slight rushing sensation if I leave it too long, the other does nothing at all.
    Oh, this changes everything. I've already told my friend about this, and she says she always expected the Valsava manoeuvre to cause a pop, like when swallowing (in my own case, it does, so that's how I know I've equalised correctly). If it's not so, she may have been hysterically blowing with her nose pinched when there was no need for it. She's not completely sure, though, because whenever she managed to swallow, the pop was loud, which she attributed to not having done it often enough.

    Now she asks, does the slight pain when ascending mean anything? Should she also try to swallow or do the Valsava manoeuvre when going upwards? Our instructor (the same both for her and me) says we needn't do anything, but she says that's when she feels some discomfort in her ears (apart from the disconcerting raspberry).

    Thanks once again!

  6. #16
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    The slight pain on ascending indicates a reverse squeeze. She needs to try wiggling her jaw side to side and swallowing on ascending and maybe slow down her ascent.

  7. #17
    TDF Member NW6 1TH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ihsaan View Post
    The slight pain on ascending indicates a reverse squeeze. She needs to try wiggling her jaw side to side and swallowing on ascending and maybe slow down her ascent.
    Is it dangerous if she doesn't do it? Is the difference of pressure in one direction dangerous, but not in the other? I cannot help her there, because I don't notice anything strange when ascending.

  8. #18
    Established TDF Member steelemonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NW6 1TH View Post
    Is it dangerous if she doesn't do it? Is the difference of pressure in one direction dangerous, but not in the other? I cannot help her there, because I don't notice anything strange when ascending.
    Pain on ascending is caused by gas in the ear that is trapped. As it expands, it hurts. It could cause damage.
    Paul.
    If God had meant us to breathe underwater, he would have given us larger bank balances.
    Human beings were invented by water as a means of moving itself from one place to another.

  9. #19
    Established TDF Member Nickpicks's Avatar
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    Blocked ears whilst descending, or reverse block when ascending can both cause ruptured eardrums if the pressure isn't equalised. I don't think the eardrum is stronger in one direction than the other.

    Most people don't notice their ears equalising on ascent, as the equalisation usually "just sorts itself out" whereas many people have to take action whilst descending (usually valsalva).
    Proud to be a boring health and softy crap following sissie!

  10. #20
    TDF Member NW6 1TH's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot! My friend says that then the raspberry she heard must have been the air coming out. But probably the fact that it was so long and so loud means too much air had already been expanding there, so even if it finally managed to escape, she'd better try to swallow also on ascending. They told us not to worry about equalising during ascent, but it seems some people must still be careful about it.

    Now my friend is even more worried than before. She says that if gurning solves the problem, it'll be perfect, but otherwise, descending won't be the only stressful part of the dive for her. Let's hope she can equalise by moving her jaw.


 
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