First dive ear issues and upcoming airplane flight

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tursiops

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I held my nostrils and exhaled like I was told, moved my head left and right. I did it early and often, but around 8-10’, my right ear had pain that eventually went away in both dives.

I did take the airplane flight - had no issues. Could pressurize my ears OK, with more clicking on the right side. Ear feels less clogged now, but I may see an ENT regardless.
The next time you dive, try other methods to equalize. The method you used doesn't work for everyone (me, for example) and it is also possible to blow too hard, which can cause damage to your ears.
 
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John_t

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The next time you dive, try other methods to equalize. The method you used doesn't work for everyone (me, for example) and it is also possible to blow too hard, which can cause damage to your ears.
Wow, this is extremely helpful - thank you. I was definitely forcing the Valsalva too hard, since it wasn’t working and I was in pain. I have a feeling that it won’t work for me next time either, so I’ll have to do some homework beforehand.
 

Duke Dive Medicine

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Wow, this is extremely helpful - thank you. I was definitely forcing the Valsalva too hard, since it wasn’t working and I was in pain. I have a feeling that it won’t work for me next time either, so I’ll have to do some homework beforehand.

Glad you're ok. A forced valsalva maneuver can lead to permanent inner ear damage. Hearing loss, vertigo, tinnitus, or nausea would be worrisome for this. If you're concerned about tympanic membrane rupture you should be seen immediately -if you can't get into an ENT or your PCP, an urgent care visit would be reasonable.

It seems like you're on the right path re: equalizing ears on future dives. Start early, go slowly, and never force it.

Best regards,
DDM
 
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