Having issues equalising your ears? Get some great tips in this post

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Scuba Diving Tips

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Are you worrying about your ears before your first course or is it hard for you to equalise your ears when scuba diving?

Then check out this video where we share some easy tips for you to make equalising your ears easier:

Many people struggle to Equalize their Ears when they go Scuba Diving. They think they have an ear problem and many stop scuba diving because of it. But I found out that most of the time it is because people don’t use the right equalizing techniques or have been taught how to equalize their ears while diving the wrong way.

Timestamps and chapters for key moments in this video:

00:00 Intro
00:32 Why do we need to equalize our air spaces when scuba diving?
00:47 What are our air spaces?
01:23 Different ways to equalise your ears while scuba diving
01:27 Valsalva maneuver
01:32 How to do Valsalva maneuver
04:01 Swallow to equalize ear pressure when diving
04:25 Wiggle your jaw to equalize your ears while scuba diving
04:46 Use all techniques to equalise your ears
05:06 Let's try all the different equalizing techniques
06:50 Special trick: Clear congestion before trying to equalise your ears
09:40 Don't equalize your ears to hard

Please watch the whole video as I will be teaching a very special Tip How to Equalize your Ears while Diving in the end of the video.

My first tip to equalize your ears while diving is to use the valsalva maneuver.

If that does not work well for you, then I recommend to go up (ascent) a little bit and try it again. If that still does not work for you then try the second best equalizing technique to equalize your ears while scuba diving is to swallow. Some people even prefer to swallowing over the valsalva maneuver (pinching of the nose) to equalize their ears while scuba diving.

The third tip to equalize the ears is to wiggle or move your jaw from side to side. This stretches the Eustachian tubes and that can equalize your ears.

You can also try to move your head from side to side or even do all equalizing technique the same time! This will look very funny, but who care is it get's the job done! :)

Why does blowing the nose help in equalizing your ears diving?

May people have congestion in their sinuses and that congestion can block the Eustachian tubes, making it impossible to blow air to our eardrums. By blowing your nose underwater you remove that congestion allowing any of the equalizing techniques described above to work well.

The way to do it is to keep your mask on your face, then gently but long blow your nose, one nostril at the time. This will create some congestion in your mask. Just clear it by exhaling through your nose and then afterwards pinch your nose and do the valsalva maneuver. You will be amazed how easy it is now to equalize your ears while scuba diving.


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DAN doesn't seem to support using the Vasalva technique due to the risk of ear injury: 6 Methods to Equalize Your Ears - Divers Alert Network

Page 5 of https://dan.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/smartguide_ears_2017_lores.pdf
But 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.

Page 6:
Passive REQUIRES NO EFFORT Typicaly occurs during ascent.
Voluntary Tubal Opening TENSE YOUR THROAT AND PUSH YOUR JAW FORWARD Tense the muscles of the soft palate and the throat while pushing the jaw forward and down as if starting to yawn. These muscles pull the Eustachian tubes open. This requires a lot of practice, but some divers can learn to control those muscles and hold their tubes open for continuous equalization. Toynbee Maneuver PINCH YOUR NOSE AND SWALLOW With your nostrils pinched or blocked against your mask skirt, swallow. Swallowing pulls open your Eustachian tubes while the movement of your tongue, with your nose closed, compresses air against them.
Frenzel Maneuver PINCH YOUR NOSE AND MAKE THE SOUND OF THE LETTER “K” Close your nostrils, and close the back of your throat as if straining to lift a weight. Then make the sound of the letter “K.” This forces the back of your tongue upward, compressing air against the openings of your Eustachian tubes.
Lowry Technique PINCH YOUR NOSE, BLOW AND SWALLOW A combination of Valsalva and Toynbee: while closing your nostrils, blow and swallow at the same time.
Edmonds Technique PINCH YOUR NOSE AND BLOW AND PUSH YOUR JAW FORWARD While tensing the soft palate (the soft tissue at the back of the roof of your mouth) and throat muscles and pushing the jaw forward and down, do a Valsalva maneuver.

People should pay particular attention to comments by @Angelo Farina in this thread. Ear problem, Tinnitus & Buzzing - Never Diving Again

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