10 tips to avoid barotrauma of the ear while diving

by spotmydive

Are you soon going on a paradise island, the Maldives or Australia, or just go on a dive trip to Calvados and explore the wrecks of Normandy?
What you should know is that a pain in the ears is a balance problem, so to avoid it it is logical to be well balanced and especially sparing your sinuses. The sinuses are small cavities filled with air that communicate with our nasal fossae, to spare them is to avoid an accident. Slightly increase the pressure in your middle ears to balance the ambient pressure is a solution to dive into the seabed gracefully. It will be necessary to open the normally closed Eustachian tubes which allows the high pressure air of your throat to enter your middle ears. Gently blowing while pinching the nose Valsalva maneuver helps the tubes open with the air pressure. Nevertheless with blocked sinuses, a diver may be confronted with a barotrauma, a simple cold or sinusitis can be at the origin. To dive to be healthy is imperative and using the throat muscles to pull your Eustachian tubes to open them naturally is the best solution. This natural habit at home we do it hundreds of times a day: just listen to that “pop” that you can hear when you swallow.
Below, some practical tips to optimize your stay and admire the clown fish closer to their beauty, these 10 commandments are not to be missed to scuba dive safely!

1.Avoid milk

Milk promotes mucus production.

2.Avoid tobacco and alcohol

Tobacco smoke and alcohol irritate your membranes and favoring more mucus, this can block your Eustachian tubes. Caution during your mojitos parties, alcohol promotes dehydration and can increase decompression illness!

3. Do not dive as soon as you leave the plane

Diving out of the airport is strongly discouraged because a long trip will tire your body and you will not be at the top of your abilities. Our body needs a desaturation after the atmospheric pressures suffered by taking the plane, to dive without delay is to expose oneself to cardiovascular risks.

4. Be an early morning people and plan

Do not wait to be on the boat to remember to equalize your ear pressure! Start every 5 minutes and this several hours before diving, a chewing gum will help you because it makes you swallow your saliva naturally. Listen to the “pop” before even boarding the boat when you swallow the “pop” indicates that the two Eustachian tubes are opening.

5. Equalize on the surface

Pre-pressurization at the surface allows most divers to pass the critical first meters of descent, this pre-pressurization can inflate your Eustachian tubes to enlarge them. Medical authorities do not recommend this last minute method, it is advisable to pre-pressurize only if it seems to help you, and gently.

6.Plunge down to go down

The Valsalva maneuver requires 50% more force if you go down head down, so get your feet down in the water first!

7. Use a diving rope

Pulling on a mooring line will allow you to control your speed of descent and thus stop your progress if you feel a pressure.

8.Equalize oftenly

Do not wait to feel the pressure to equalize, do it on a regular basis.

9.Stop the descent if you suffer

If you are in pain it is probably because your Eustachian tubes are locked by the differential pressure, be wise and go back a bit to equalize again.

10.Do not fly after a dive

At altitude the aircraft cabins are pressurized, and this causes an increase the volume of nitrogen still present in your body, this pressure difference could lead to a decompression accident. It takes a delay before taking the plane after diving, everything will depend on the depth all depends on your amount of gas accumulated in your body: plan 24H
Well, now you have all the tips for a successful diving trip, all you have to do is visit our website to find your dream spot: are your ready, stead dive !

Written by Florence Fifi