Diving with mild barotrauma

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OP
Tigerpaw

Tigerpaw

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Thanks for the details. Barotrauma symptoms generally are noticeable right away. You may have had a mild injury, or you may also have developed an ear infection. How was your equalization during the lake dives? Were you able to clear without effort?

Best regards,
DDM
Equalization was fine which was why I was surprised I developed it. But yes I didn't notice the symptoms until almost a week later, which makes me wonder about an infection. I remember the instructor telling someone taking their open water not to open their eyes during mask removal, so as not to get an eye infection. Thanks for that bit of information. So on that note, is there anything I can do to prevent or alleviate ear infections in that lake?
I'm happy to report that it has cleared up so I'm going to dive this weekend. I will let you all know how it went.
 

pasley

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NOT A DOCTOR, NOT SMART, THE FOLLOWING IS NOT ADVICE, JUST MY OPINION.

You have asked the question, and that is a way of saying I know in the back of my mind what I should do and I am not comfortable with going on the trip, but I don't want to cancel.

Ok, I will say it. SEE A DIVE MEDICINE PHYSICIAN who specializes in your area of injury. Do Not Dive until cleared to do so by the appropriate specialist.

Call DAN and get a referral to a qualified Dive Medicine Physician specializing in your area of injury. Dive Medicine Doctors are not doctors who SCUBA dive, they are doctors who have taken specialty training in Dive Medicine in specific areas, lungs, heart, ear etc. IMHO A non-Dive Medicine physician who SCUBA dives is better than a physician who does not dive, but neither is as good as a physician with the Dive Medicine Specialization.

The experiences of others here with their barotrauma are not an indicator of what you should do. You do not know the degree of their injury. Mild to one physician may be others OH NO! The time to heal at your age, past injury history, and other factors all impact healing time.

See the specialist and put your mind at ease.
 

azstinger11

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NOT A DOCTOR, NOT SMART, THE FOLLOWING IS NOT ADVICE, JUST MY OPINION.

You have asked the question, and that is a way of saying I know in the back of my mind what I should do and I am not comfortable with going on the trip, but I don't want to cancel.

Ok, I will say it. SEE A DIVE MEDICINE PHYSICIAN who specializes in your area of injury. Do Not Dive until cleared to do so by the appropriate specialist.

Call DAN and get a referral to a qualified Dive Medicine Physician specializing in your area of injury. Dive Medicine Doctors are not doctors who SCUBA dive, they are doctors who have taken specialty training in Dive Medicine in specific areas, lungs, heart, ear etc. IMHO A non-Dive Medicine physician who SCUBA dives is better than a physician who does not dive, but neither is as good as a physician with the Dive Medicine Specialization.

The experiences of others here with their barotrauma are not an indicator of what you should do. You do not know the degree of their injury. Mild to one physician may be others OH NO! The time to heal at your age, past injury history, and other factors all impact healing time.

See the specialist and put your mind at ease.

As someone dealing an ear issue, when it comes to ENTs DAN seems to trust most of them and diving ENT's are pretty rare.

" Diving ENTs are actually rare, and we have very few across the country. If this physician does not meet your needs, our next recommendation is to seek an ENT from within your insurance provider network. ENTs have an inherent understanding of pressure and its effects on the body whether it be from diving, flying, or weather-related issues." from the email I got. But yes see someone who knows what the hell is going on and maybe outside of Duke Dive Medicine don't listen to internet strangers on medical advice lol
 

Duke Dive Medicine

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Equalization was fine which was why I was surprised I developed it. But yes I didn't notice the symptoms until almost a week later, which makes me wonder about an infection. I remember the instructor telling someone taking their open water not to open their eyes during mask removal, so as not to get an eye infection. Thanks for that bit of information. So on that note, is there anything I can do to prevent or alleviate ear infections in that lake?
I'm happy to report that it has cleared up so I'm going to dive this weekend. I will let you all know how it went.
Glad to hear everything is back to normal. We used to tell our commercial diving students who were working in LA Harbor to treat their ears just like a piece of diving gear and rinse them well after finishing diving for the day. In the shower, turn your ear toward the shower head, grasp the pinna (the part of the ear that you can see), pull it gently up and back (toward the crown of the head) to straighten the ear canal, and let water run into the each external ear until you think they're well-rinsed. Do NOT try this if you suspect that your eardrum is ruptured.

Some people advocate using either pre-mixed OTC solutions or homemade "ear beer" in the ear canal after diving. You'll hear various formulas of vinegar and rubbing alcohol +- glycerine, just be careful with these as they can alter the pH of the external ear and make it paradoxically more susceptible to infection. @doctormike may be able to expand on this a little.

Best regards,
DDM
 

doctormike

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@doctormike may be able to expand on this a little.

Best regards,
DDM

As usual, great information from @Duke Dive Medicine ..!

In virtually all of these threads, there is confusion between outer ear problems and middle ear problems. Other than sharing ear pain and a clogged sensation in the ear, they are completely different processes, with different causes and different treatments.

Here is my page about ear disease in diving, and here is my page about the management of swimmer's ear (outer ear infection).

Glad that the OP is doing better!
 

azstinger11

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As usual, great information from @Duke Dive Medicine ..!

In virtually all of these threads, there is confusion between outer ear problems and middle ear problems. Other than sharing ear pain and a clogged sensation in the ear, they are completely different processes, with different causes and different treatments.

Here is my page about ear disease in diving, and here is my page about the management of swimmer's ear (outer ear infection).

Glad that the OP is doing better!
I wish you were local and in my insurance group. Waiting on my ENT referral to get processed after visiting the ER :/
 
OP
Tigerpaw

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NOT A DOCTOR, NOT SMART, THE FOLLOWING IS NOT ADVICE, JUST MY OPINION.

You have asked the question, and that is a way of saying I know in the back of my mind what I should do and I am not comfortable with going on the trip, but I don't want to cancel.

Ok, I will say it. SEE A DIVE MEDICINE PHYSICIAN who specializes in your area of injury. Do Not Dive until cleared to do so by the appropriate specialist.

Call DAN and get a referral to a qualified Dive Medicine Physician specializing in your area of injury. Dive Medicine Doctors are not doctors who SCUBA dive, they are doctors who have taken specialty training in Dive Medicine in specific areas, lungs, heart, ear etc. IMHO A non-Dive Medicine physician who SCUBA dives is better than a physician who does not dive, but neither is as good as a physician with the Dive Medicine Specialization.

The experiences of others here with their barotrauma are not an indicator of what you should do. You do not know the degree of their injury. Mild to one physician may be others OH NO! The time to heal at your age, past injury history, and other factors all impact healing time.

See the specialist and put your mind at ease.
Thank you so much! I'm scheduled to see a specialist.
 
OP
Tigerpaw

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Hi everyone, wanted to post an update. My barotrauma cleared up so I was able to go on my dive during vacation but after a few days it came back. I have since been to an ENT and he echoed the same thing here on the boards, that barotrauma is usually instant after a dive and generally doesn't occur a few days later. I go back a week for now for some testing. I just came from diving from a lake this weekend and lo and behold I have it again. This time I used those eardrops with alcohol and glycerine mix in between dives to clear out my ears, I did feel relief and it cleared out my ears however later in the day I had barotrauma. While I'm waiting to go back for my test, I was wondering are divers earplugs and option? I have read they are not because it creates an air space BUT I've also read that diver's earplugs somehow work. The theory from senior divers is that I am getting water in my ear resulting in an ear infection. All your comments and suggestions will be appreciated and I'll keep you all updated on my upcoming ear exam. Thanks!
 
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