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Abyss Scuba Diving

What To Do If You Have Equalizing Problems While Scuba Diving?

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What to Do If You Have Equalizing Problems While Scuba Diving?

Equalizing problems while scuba diving? Equalizing is the process of adjusting to the pressure of the water around you. When you scuba dive, you need to equalize your ears to avoid pain and damage, and to ensure that you have an enjoyable time on your dive. Here are some tips for how to solve your equalizing problems.

Begin Early

One hours before your dive, begin popping your ears every fifteen minutes. Chewing gum seems to help some people because it makes you swallow more often. Prior to you boarding the boat, make sure that when you swallow, stretch your jaw, or gently pinch and blow you hear a "pop" in both ears. This tells you both eustachian tubes are opening.

Stay Ahead of the Pain

Just before you begin your ascent, ensure to equalize, then continue to equalize early and often. Don't wait until you feel significant pressure, discomfort, or any pain. If you delay until you feel some pain, then you will tense up and this will make equalizing even more difficult.

Descend Feet First

For many divers, equalizing their ears in a feet-up position requires more force and is more challenging than equalizing in the feet-down position. Tilt your head up slightly while keeping your neck extended, which helps open your eustachian tubes.

Use a Descent Line

Following an anchor line helps control your descent rate, which helps if ears do not equalize in a timely manner. A line also helps you stop your descent quickly if you feel any pain.

If it Hurts, then Stop

If you're already feeling pain, stop and try to equalize, then ascend a few feet and try again. If you still can't equalize, end the dive. Continuing to descend with unequalised ears is painful and will lead to middle ear squeeze (blood and fluid forced into the middle ear) and/or ear drum rupture. Never continue descending with unequalised ears and be sure to signal your buddy.
Avoid Things that Produce Mucus

Salt water in your mask can make you a bit snotty, so keeping your mask clear helps minimizing equalizing issues. Some foods, including milk, can increase your mucus production, resulting in congestion and equalization problems. Similarly, both tobacco smoke and alcohol irritate, both of which can increase mucus production.