How To Get Rid Of Blocked Ears After Diving

How To Get Rid Of Blocked Ears After Diving

Scuba diving is the most well-known activity underwater. It is considered a sport for professionals and trainers with high skills in diving. Although scuba diving requires very high skilled professionals to perform, there are some light pieces of training for amateurs to make them able to enjoy scuba diving without any problems. Sharm el-Sheikh is one of the world’s top diving destinations because of its clear water, amazing coral gardens, and underwater stunning views. Learn more about magnificent underwater activities in Sharm el sheikh.

Unfortunately, No gains without pains! One of scuba diving pains is air blocking. There are many injuries that may happen to scuba divers. The most common injuries are ear injuries. Also, ear injuries are various, but the most leading injury of morbidity among scuba divers is middle-ear barotrauma (MEBT). Not only (MEBT) ear injury that may affect the scuba divers, but also Tympanic Membrane Rupture (Perforated Eardrum), Inner-Ear Barotrauma (IEBT), Perilymph Fistula, Alternobaric Vertigo, Middle-Ear Barotrauma on Ascent, Facial Baroparesis, Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ), Surfer’s Ear, and Swimmer’s Ear (Otitis Externa). So here is how To Get Rid Of Blocked Ears After Diving.

Here’s how to get rid of blocked ears after diving

How To Get Rid Of Blocked Ears After Diving

1. Middle-ear barotrauma (MEBT)

“Middle-ear barotrauma is the accumulation of fluid and blood in the middle ear or rupture of the eardrum as a consequence of failed equalization of pressure in the air space of the middle ear during diving or flying”. [1]

  • What are the Manifestations of MEBT?
    Divers may feel discomfort in their ears (clogged ears, stuffed ears) that may progress to severe pain if they cannot equalize middle-ear pressure during descent. The descent is, the more ear pain intensifies, which is soon followed by the serous fluid build-up and bleeding in the middle ear.
  • How to manage MEBT?
    Once you feel discomfort stop descending until you attempt equalization. If you can not equalize the pressure, you should safely end your dive and take the first aid and treatments.
  • How to Prevent MEBT?
    You should not dive with cold. You also should descend slowly.

2. Tympanic Membrane Rupture (Perforated Eardrum)

“Tympanic membrane perforation is a tear of the eardrum, which can occur while scuba diving due to failed middle-ear pressure equalization.” [2]

  • What are the Manifestations of Perforated Eardrum?
    You may feel pain in your ears during the descent that stops suddenly. Other manifestations are Clear or bloody drainage from the ear, Hearing loss, Ringing in the ear (tinnitus), Spinning sensation (vertigo), and Nausea or vomiting that can result from vertigo.
  • How to manage Perforated Eardrum?
    Within a few weeks, the majority of eardrums get better, and it is important to treat nasal and sinus congestion. Treatment may involve steps to close the perforation like an Eardrum patch and Surgery if the tear or hole in your eardrum does not heal by itself.
  • How to Prevent Perforated Eardrum?
    You should not dive with congestion. Maintain a suitable rate of descent and equalize as needed.

3. Inner-Ear Barotrauma (IEBT)

“Inner-ear barotrauma is damage to the inner ear due to pressure differences caused by incomplete or forceful equalization. A leak of inner-ear fluid may or may not occur.” [3]

How To Get Rid Of Blocked Ears After Diving

  • What are the Manifestations of Perforated Eardrum?
    Divers may feel severe vertigo, Hearing loss, Ears roaring/ringing (tinnitus), Involuntary eye movement (nystagmus), and Fullness of the affected ear.
  • How to manage Perforated Eardrum?
    You should abort the dive, and obtain assistance to reach the surface safely, in case of vertigo underwater. Start surface oxygen if decompression illness is suspected. A complete neurological exam should be conducted by first aid providers detecting any deficits.
  • How to Prevent Perforated Eardrum?
    Do not dive when congested. Learn gentle but effective equalization techniques and avoid aggressive employment of the Valsalva maneuver.

4. Perilymph Fistula

“A perilymph fistula is a tear in the round- and/or oval-window membranes through which inner-ear fluid (perilymph) is leaking.” [4]

  • What are the Manifestations of Perilymph Fistula?
    Dizziness, vertigo, imbalance, nausea, and vomiting are the symptoms of perilymph fistula. Also, ringing (tinnitus) and fullness in the ears may be experienced by Some people, and many notice some hearing loss.  Changes in altitude (elevators, airplanes, or travel over mountains), weather changes, and physical exertion make symptoms worsen.
  • How to manage Perilymph Fistula?
    Absolute bed rest in the sitting position can usually manage this condition. Avoid straining, sneezing, nose-blowing, sexual activity, loud noises, and middle-ear equalizing to prevent pressure waves in the inner ear.
    If hearing loss progresses or the other features persist for more than a week or two with this regimen, it may be necessary to resort to surgery to repair the round-window leak.
  • How to Prevent Perilymph Fistula?
    Make sure that the Eustachian tubes are functioning properly by gently equalizing on the surface before diving.

5. Alternobaric Vertigo

“Alternobaric vertigo occurs during descent, ascent or immediately after surfacing from a dive and is caused by unequal pressure stimulation in each ear.” [5]

  • What are the Manifestations of Alternobaric Vertigo?
    Disorientation, nausea, and vomiting are the symptoms of alternobaric vertigo.
  • How to manage Alternobaric Vertigo?
    Uncomplicated cases resolve quickly within minutes upon surfacing, but if symptoms persist, you must see your primary care physician or. You should not dive if you have equalization problems.
    Associated injuries include middle-ear barotrauma and inner-ear barotrauma; alternobaric vertigo may occur during descent or ascent, but middle-ear barotrauma of ascent (reverse squeeze) is commonly associated with. Other conditions should be ruled out such as inner-ear DCS or caloric vertigo (when cold water suddenly enters one ear).
  • How to Prevent Alternobaric Vertigo?
    Measures for the prevention of ear barotraumas should be taken. Avoid the unequal pressurization of the ear by avoiding tight-fitting wetsuit hoods or earplugs. Maintain good oral hygiene. You should not dive when congested or unable to equalize.

How To Get Rid Of Blocked Ears After Diving

6. Middle-Ear Barotrauma on Ascent

“A reverse squeeze is barotrauma due to an inability to release pressure from the middle ear on the ascent.” [6]

  • What are the Manifestations of reverse squeeze?
    Manifestations of reverse squeeze may include:
    – Pressure, fullness in the ear
    – Ear pain
    – Vertigo
  • How to manage reverse squeeze?
    There are some of the equalizing techniques used to manage reverse squeeze While diving:
    Some of the equalizing techniques used on descent will clear your ears on the ascent. –Pointing the affected ear toward the bottom may help, too.
    – Ascend as slowly as your air supply allows.
    – Increasing pressure usually opens the Eustachian tube and relieves overpressure. However, in rare cases, it may persist all the way up. In that case, you will have to endure the pain to reach the surface. Notify your buddy and stay in close proximity.
  • How to Prevent reverse squeeze?
    It is Prior to diving to try to equalize on the surface to ensure Eustachian tube function is adequate.