Another obstacle in the quest for certification

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edhjr

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Certification continues to elude me as of now standing water behind my eardrum will not drain. I've seen a doctor and have taken a decongestant with no relief. I see an ear, nose throat specialist next week, hopefully I can return to the certification process.

In the pool when I am 12 ft under I experience severe ear and mask squeeze. I attribute my ear discomfort to an earlier incident involving water and ear infection.

I am concerned how much longer I can safely dive at age 67? At the last pool session, I was not feeling well but because I said would be there, I went anyway. It was a huge mistake trying to practice skills especially with a new BC that was not properly weighted. That was my last pool session, I'm looking forward to the next pool session to experiment with proper weights and distribution.

 

Doc Harry

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Diving skills are difficult to learn, and people's sinuses and ears just don't allow them to dive. Good luck.
 

DogDiver

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Don’t beat yourself up. There are some folks that just can’t or shouldn’t dive. Find another hobby.
 

Bob DBF

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In the pool when I am 12 ft under I experience severe ear and mask squeeze.

You have not equalized, and should never go deeper when you have any discomfort in your ears. If you go too deep, you may not be able to equalize no matter how you try. If I can't equalize, I go up a cohple
 
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edhjr

edhjr

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You have not equalized, and should never go deeper when you have any discomfort in your ears. If you go too deep, you may not be able to equalize no matter how you try. If I can't equalize, I go up a cohple
I was able to equalize last week, no problem.
 

drrich2

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I attribute my ear discomfort to an earlier incident involving water and ear infection.
Is that thought to be a chronic issue, or a short-term one?

When diving, I usually start the day with a 24-hour Sudafed to improve my ability to equalize. It's particularly effective in the morning, not as much so late afternoon. I also use Claritin and Flonase to minimize the risk of allergy-related flare ups.

I've had substantial reverse block twice diving and if I never have it again, it'll be too soon.

Be mindful individuals react differently to various medications, and I have no idea your individual tolerance, other health issues you may have and other medications you may be on.
 

Subcooled

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Certification continues to elude me as of now standing water behind my eardrum will not drain.
What worries me is this:
Why does it not drain? Are the eustachian tubes (that connect the middle ear to the mouth) blocked? Can even compressed air enter the inside of your ear to counteract water pressure? If it cannot, there will be pain at depth, and possibly a ruptured ear drum, hence cold water in the wrong place, and vertigo, and related problems. I am not an ENT specialist, nor a medical professional of any kind, so I could be wrong.
I've seen a doctor and have taken a decongestant with no relief. I see an ear, nose throat specialist next week, hopefully I can return to the certification process.
And yes, there are some solutions, at a cost, if the situation is really bad. Balloon Offers Relief from Chronic Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
In the pool when I am 12 ft under I experience severe ear and mask squeeze.
Equalization problems start to cause pain about at that depth, in my experience. So yes, its looks like your ears will not equalize properly. That might be a skills issue, and not only a physiological problem. Water in the ear is a sign of a problem however.

I did struggle with equalization in the beginning of my dive career. There are many ways of equalizing the pressure in the ear, and some ways may work better for you, but you'll need to practise. You do not know how often I've been floating at 12 feet, feeling frustrated, and flexing/extending/rotating/bending my neck in desperation, ascending, trying all the tricks, to let some air through those damn tubes...

Once you have gained some experience, it will usually be an easy process, with some rare bad days. Some techniques: Middle-Ear Equalization - Divers Alert Network

Besides, you could take 5 minutes to descend to 12 feet, and 5 more to get to 24 feet. There is no hurry. Learning takes time and rushing it is not the fastest way forward.

Mask squeeze is solely your own fault. It is a skills issue. Surely, your nose is not blocked? You need to blow some air through your nose to that mask. Too little is bad. Too much is ok, for now.
I am concerned how much longer I can safely dive at age 67?
My former dive instructor - and occasional dive buddy now - is 75 and still going strong. He dives max 100 feet, cold water, drysuit. You should ask this question again in ten years time.

I would guess that it depends on your physical shape. If you do have a heart problem, then overexerting yourself could be bad, but the same if true on dry land also. You can avoid waves, surf and current though, and dive in calm waters. I do and I love it. And you do not need to dive to 300 feet, do you? There are some beautiful scenery and fish at shallow reefs, or in shallow local lakes, if you prefer algae and reed more. Besides, the weightlessness is not dependent on depth. There is some really enjoyable diving in calm waters at shallow depth. You just need to find it. I've said this before, so sorry for repetition.

I believe that whatever keeps you active is good. Besides, it adds to the quality of life. A sedentary lifestyle is the real risk here.
At the last pool session, I was not feeling well but because I said would be there, I went anyway.
I have made the same exact mistake. And not only once.
It was a huge mistake trying to practice skills especially with a new BC that was not properly weighted. That was my last pool session, I'm looking forward to the next pool session to experiment with proper weights and distribution.
Just do not rush it. Buoyancy is one skill. Mask clearing is another. Swapping regulators is a third. And so on. They do take time. And you can do much of it in the shallow end without the complication of buoyancy.

And remember, you can enjoy diving while doing these drills. It is a matter of relaxing, enjoying the submersion, celebrating all the new experiences...
 

Robert H. Diver

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next time you’re in the water, start equalizing right when you begin your descent and don’t stop till you get to your desired depth. Look up different equalizing techniques. My fiancé had trouble equalizing for a while but she learned different equalizing styles and now has no problem. This of course all depends on what the ENT says. Don’t give up but don’t do irreparable damage to yourself. Good luck.
 

sabrisi

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Another thing that helps me is starting some equalizing/Eustachian tube opening maneuvers about an hour prior to a dive. Hope the ENT will have some helpful advice for you!
 
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