Instructor Matt has written a new article for the DJL blog about ear protection. He explains how to take care of your ears and avoid the problems some people may experience during a dive. Your ears are particulary sensitive when diving due to various pressures which can lead to pain and possible injury. The tips below will help you avoid any of the potential issues that can arise.
How to maximise ear protection whilst diving:
We all know as divers our ears can be our achilles heel, an ear infection of a perforated ear can have us out of the water for days if not weeks. Luckily for us there are many ear protection options that can help us prevent these problems from arising.
• Clean your ears after the dive
you can use a couple of different methods for cleaning your ear post dive: firstly you can use either a commercial product designed to remove water from the ear canal. Secondly (and more cheaply) you can use a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and rubbing alcohol to gently clean and dry the ear canal. This can also help to prevent swimmer’s ear.
• Avoid boat fumes
Breathe fresh, clean air before descending into the water. Since the eardrum is connected to the throat via the eustachian tube which ultimately connects to the respiratory system, avoiding irritants such as boat fumes and cigarette smoke will help divers avoid inflammation and pain.
• Stay hydrated
Drink lots of water to thin mucus so that it doesn’t clump and block the eustachian tube.
• Avoid dairy products
It is recommended to avoid dairy products for two days before a dive as it can contribute to thick mucus.
• Avoid diving with congestions
It advisable to avoid diving when you have a cold or congestion if fluid has been building up in the eardrums and throat. This is because congestion causes the tubes to shrink and it is more difficult to equalize.
• Sinus rinses
Oral decongestants or nasal rinses are useful for thinning the mucosal lining. They also unblock nasal passages, flushing out irritants. Before using any of these medications before diving it is always best to check with your doctor.
As you can see from these helpful tips, ear care prevention is better than cure. Take care of your ears guys and they will take care of you. Happy Diving!”