Instructor Matt has written a new article for the DJL blog explaining 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 avoid ear problems 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 ways 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 mixture of half white vinegar and half rubbing alcohol after a diving excursion 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 eustachian tube connects the eardrum to the throat, and ultimately 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- dive with congestion or a cold when there is already a buildup of fluid in the throat and eardrums. Congestion causes a shrinking in the tubes, which makes it harder to force in air and equalize pressure.
• Sinus rinses- Use a nasal rinse or oral decongestant to help thin the mucosal lining and flush out irritants that can block nasal passages. Check with your physician before taking any medication, even over the counter, before using the medication while diving
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!”