Asymmetrical Ear Canals -- what to be aware of?

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WeRtheOcean

WeRtheOcean

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I just read the resource on "Ear Problems in Scuba Diving," but it did not address this particular detail. I recently purchased a type of earplugs designed for air travel, to alleviate pressure changes and cabin noise. (That's not what I use them for; I use them in the grocery store because the beep before each service desk call was painfully loud -- with these plugs, it still sounds just as loud, but isn't painful.)

Anyway, I noticed that whenever I inserted these earplugs, one ear canal always let the plug in straight, whereas the other ear canal was slightly curved, so that I have to manipulate the ear to insert the plug. This difference in the shape of the ear canals also leads to a difference in the amount of earwax buildup -- the curved canal gets more wax. Is this likely to lead to any diving-related concerns, perhaps having to do with the swimmer's ear mentioned in the resource?
 

Can't Talk ... Diving

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Everyone is different but i don't think there is any inherent issue with some asymmetry.

I had surgery a year ago that caused one of my ear canals to basically collapse. The surgeon said i might have trouble equalizing but it hasn't been a problem, knock on wood.

I will probably get some reconstructive surgery at some point but not because of diving.

I would dive cautiously - don't push equalization too hard - and see an ENT if you run into any trouble.
 

Ukmc

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Yes. The ear canal that accumulates more wax has a higher chance of getting a swimmers ear. Having said that, there are people who never get swimmers ear in their entire life regardless of canal shape (everybody’s external canal is a little curved) and then there are people who get infections just thinking about getting wet…
 

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