First dive and certification...things to keep in mind

Please register or login

Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

Benefits of registering include

  • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
  • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
  • You can make this box go away

Joining is quick and easy. Log in or Register now!

Doby45

Do I have something in my teeth?
Scuba Instructor
Messages
2,028
Reaction score
1,378
Location
Acworth, GA
Stop listening to all these couch and internet divers.

Is this literally your favorite saying? Who is a couch diver, anyone on this forum? Who is an internet diver, anyone on this forum? It would seem you fit in both categories. Should all questions/requests be vetted through you as the "Great Oracle of Diving"? Just curious.
 

Marie13

Great Lakes Mermaid
ScubaBoard Supporter
Messages
12,787
Reaction score
12,686
Location
Great Lakes
# of dives
200 - 499
Just my 2 cents worth. Get off the internet and all the forums. Stop listening to all these couch and internet divers. Your instructor, if he or she is any good will walk you through the equalization process in a safe and organized manor.
🙄🤦‍♀️
 

wetb4igetinthewater

Instructor
Scuba Instructor
Divemaster
Messages
8,230
Reaction score
7,035
Location
Seattle
# of dives
500 - 999
Is this literally your favorite saying? Who is a couch diver, anyone on this forum? Who is an internet diver, anyone on this forum? It would seem you fit in both categories. Should all questions/requests be vetted through you as the "Great Oracle of Diving"? Just curious.
Florida man......
 

Tippytoes12

Contributor
Messages
1,230
Reaction score
653
Location
UK
# of dives
500 - 999
Don’t overthink things and or get fixated on what others are doing or saying, above but especially below water. Listen to your instructor and during the course do precisely what you are told to do.

Equalisation can be challenging at the beginning, but you will get there. If you have spare time get out and about and exercise.
 

El Diablo

Contributor
Messages
330
Reaction score
199
Location
Munich
# of dives
500 - 999
I'm finally signed up for my first scuba course after a few years of delay. I'll be at PCH Scuba here in California and I'm doing their Open Water Diver Course and decided to add the Peak Performance Buoyancy and Enriched Air Nitrox classes as one package over the course of two weekends.

Admittedly I'm a bit nervous. I think I've spent too much time on here reading stories about all the different barotraumas people have experienced, from veteran divers to newbies, and the horrible symptoms they had to deal with thereafter.

Knowing that, what should I be looking out for in these dives to prevent any ear damage? Is it really as simple as equalize often and early and pausing/stopping if I feel anything weird, painful, etc? Anything else that you wish you knew going in to your first dive that I should keep in mind?
First of all, you shouldn't be nervous, diving is a wonderful hobby so just enjoy the experience, listen to your Instructor and follow some basic rules like NEVER holding your breath and equalize frequently.
You also have to equalize the air space inside your mask, this is done by simply exhaling from the nose from time to time.

You should equalize before feeling any pain, as soon as you feel some pressure. Start doing that very gently and while on the surface. You will need to equalize more often at the beginning of your descent and less the deeper you go.

It is not so easy to rupture an ear drum, long before that you will feel increasing pain so you will react.
Mind that if you ascend a couple feet, the pressure will go away so no big deal. IF you can't equalize, don't force it! Just ascend a couple feet and try again slowly. It is very simple, nothing to worry about.

Although counterintuitive, if you are not embarrassed, suck your nose / mucus and spit instead of blowing your nose. This helps the eustachian tubes to clean. Also remember not to use any decongestants before diving.
Be very well hydrated so that the mucus is thin and avoid smoking before the dive as well.

REMEMBER that your Instructor will teach you ALL of the above so you are 100% covered. Welcome to the Sport :)
 

El Diablo

Contributor
Messages
330
Reaction score
199
Location
Munich
# of dives
500 - 999
I have the Tonybee and Lowry techniques down as well beyond Valsalva. I've also had success with moving my jaw, just swallowing, etc. But I'll have to give all of these a go underwater to see which I have the most success with.



Brett, I also have the same issue with my left ear, at least on the surface. Ultimately, both ears click, pop, open, etc. but it takes my left ear a few tries whereas my right ear just takes one. I will definitely keep this in mind when I dive and make sure I get a result in both ears.

@SlugMug I'm saving a couple hundred buck by combining the classes. I figured why not but if it's not recommended I can always change to the open water course and then get credit for the other two at a later time.

I've had lots of questions on here before and I'm sure I'll have much more once I start diving, geeking out is no problem for me 🤓
Start with the easiest way (pinch & gently blow) and forget anything else. You are overloading with information and experimenting with different techniques on your first dives will be unnecessary multitasking.

Folks in this forum like to show-off and turn the conversation into a technical brawl... often portraying themselves as much more capable than they really are. In time, you will be able to identify these individuals and isolate their opinions.

Mind that all alternative equalizing techniques depend strictly on your body physiology. Everyone has different heads with similar but not exactly the same tubes and air canals inside our skulls. Some are narrower, some are wider. Some are shorter, some are longer. Some are stiffer, some are more flexible, etc. Also, you need to take into account the increasing ambient pressure, therefore, while some techniques might work on the surface, they might not work underwater, further stressing you out.

The Valsava Maneuver works with all types of heads :)
SIMPLICITY IS DIVINITY. Keep it simple, keep it basic and in time, when more experienced and familiar with this new environment, you can play and experiment all you want.
 

wetb4igetinthewater

Instructor
Scuba Instructor
Divemaster
Messages
8,230
Reaction score
7,035
Location
Seattle
# of dives
500 - 999
It is not so easy to rupture an ear drum, long before that you will feel increasing pain so you will react.
Mind that if you ascend a couple feet, the pressure will go away so no big deal. IF you can't equalize, don't force it! Just ascend a couple feet and try again slowly. It is very simple, nothing to worry about.
That simply isn't true. First, a number of people I know have damaged their eardrums using Vasalva, hence I have become pretty adament at advising others to learn other methods for equalization. They are more difficult to learn, but they are safe. Vasalva is not. Just because you and I and millions of others haven't damaged yet (as far as each individual knows) our ears, doesn't mean that others have not and it is not without risk.

The Valsava Maneuver works with all types of heads :)
SIMPLICITY IS DIVINITY. Keep it simple, keep it basic and in time, when more experienced and familiar with this new environment, you can play and experiment all you want.
DAN does state in 6 Methods to Equalize Your Ears - Divers Alert Network the following:
the Valsalva maneuver has three problems:
  1. It does not activate muscles which open the Eustachian tubes, so it may not work if the tubes are already locked by a pressure differential.
  2. It’s too easy to blow hard enough to damage something.
  3. Blowing against a blocked nose raises your internal fluid pressure, including the fluid pressure in your inner ear, which may rupture your “round windows.” So don’t blow too hard, and don’t maintain pressure for more than five seconds.

I'd recommend searching for posts by @Angelo Farina on this topic.
 

BoundForElsewhere

Divemaster
ScubaBoard Sponsor
Messages
3,125
Reaction score
3,644
Location
NYC
# of dives
200 - 499
The most important thing you can do, besides breathe, is just have fun. Leave your pride behind and giggle like a kid, let yourself be overwhelmed with awe, be humbled by the vastness of the ocean, smile with your reg in your mouth, and just let it happen.

Second most important thing is.... Move Less.
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/peregrine/

Top Bottom