7 Recommendations for excellent ear equalisation when diving
These 7 recommendations for excellent ear equalisation will come in handy in your dives.
- Avoid tobacco, alcohol and milk: Both tobacco smoke and alcohol irritate your membranes, promoting more mucus, which can block your Eustachian tubes. Try to refrain from smoking as long as possible before you dive. Also milk can increase mucus production, so avoid dairy products at least a couple of hours before diving.
- Gently equalise your ears every thirty minutes the day and the morning before you dive. It will help you to have a swifter and painless ear equalisation.
- Chewing gum: when chewing gum, you are constantly swallowing saliva, which opens up your ear canals and eases equalisation.
- POP! When we enter into the water, we tend to feel anxious for a quick ear equalising to avoid our buddies from being kept waiting. However, in the hurry to do it quickly, the only thing we get is preventing the inner ear pressure from balancing with the external ear pressure, hurting ourselves. PLEASE, DO NOT RUSH! JUST STOP DESCENDING UNTIL YOU LISTEN TO THE “POP” SOUND.
- Look up: You may also try a variant of the Valsalva manoeuvre, which consist in keeping your gaze upwards, straight towards the water surface, when practising it in the water. Keeping the chin elevated will help your ear canals to open up, with less effort.
- Act before feeling pain: Frequently, we do hurt ourselves because we forget equalising our ears until we feel severe pain. Anticipate this and practice gentle equalisations as you descend, well before feeling any pain.
- And when it hurts: If you feel pain, it is probably because your Eustachian tubes are locked shut as you “HAVE NOT EQUILISED”. If you keep descending, your eardrums will just get bruised. If it hurts, relax and ascend slightly to equalise without forcing it. Only when you feel the POP sound, you may continue descending slowly. Please, remember that is better for your health and future as scuba diver to stop a dive rather than continuing in pain, risking seriously your safety.
Anyway, keep in mind that each and every scuba diver shall undergo specific medical examination every two years.