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Jan 18, 2005


I'm struggling with popping my ears...

Did the "pool dive" yesterday at Seattle Scuba. We only went down to 7', my right ear popped fine, but my left never did. All day today it's been making noises as I flex my jaws. This weekend is the open-water dive in the Puget Sound and I'm worried I won't be able to get my ear pressure-balanced enough for the dive.

I've been doing the "hold nose and blow against it" trick. The instruction book said to repeat this every foot or so as you descend, which I was doing. It said that if you have trouble then ascend a few feet and try again, which I did. It said to go slowly, and I swear I took five minutes to reach 7'. I also tried taking my regulator out of my mouth and stretching my mouth+jaw, like a yawn. Nothing really worked.

Does anyone have tips on ear-balancing please?

I don't have a cold or any congestion. Maybe my sinuses are just generally clogged? Would neti-pot do any good?


Jan 18, 2005


I just finished my PADI advanced open water at the weekend, with a paltry total of 15 dives under my belt (one up to 75', one night-time, 8 in drysuit, no decompression-mandatory dives although I've always practiced a stop at 15', no dives under obstructed ceilings).

I signed up for this dive in "Titan 1 Missile Silo" -

What do you more experienced divers think? Am I biting off more than I can chew, or will my current experience and high caution levels see me through responsibly? Here's what the guide said:


Because I will be diving in an environment of total darkness, I have a primary dive light and a back up dive light in good working condition with fully charged batteries. A glow stick in a visible place is required.

Access to the dive site involves climbing ladders, walking on uneven surfaces, stepping over, onto and down from obstructions. This is a salvaged missile silo and has many sharp jagged pieces of metal that may damage equipment if snagged. Access and exiting can be strenuous. I must be physically able to carry my equipment to and from the dive site.

I am aware that there are vertical drops in excess of 100 feet and mastery of buoyancy control is essential.

The missile silo is an underground, completely closed area and that there is only one way in and one way out of the dive site and that I will be walking through 8 foot corridors to access the launch tube.

These structures in the launch tubes contain doorways and passage ways in and out of the tube. I will not enter areas with overhead environments unless trained to do so, then only with permission and under the supervision of the Divemaster in charge.

Buddy system is especially important because of the possibility of disorientation.

UnderSea Adventures Divemasters have full authority over all diving activities within the silo.

Excess and bulky equipment may limit my accessibility into certain areas of the silo. Single tanks are recommended. A dive computer is required. Decompression dives are not allowed.

Jan 18, 2005


MrTheDevious posted:

This is something you guys might not know the answer to, but I have REALLY strange sinus problems. I've always wanted to dive, but I can't really go below 10 feet in a pool without feeling like my head's going to explode from the pressure I'm mostly unable to equalize. Is there a solution for this? I really want to dive but not at the cost of my ears blowing up

I read through the "United States Diving Manual" section on equalization. It seemed more trustworthy than what I'd learnt from my scuba instructors or the PADI course.

I was the "bad-at-equalizing" guy in the class. It took me five times as long as everyone else to get down to 30 feet. It seems that everyone has their own personal technique for equalizing. It's difficult, because you're exercising muscles that you've never used under conscious control before, and you can't even visualize exactly what they're doing or how effective they are.

For everyone, the universal thing is that if you aren't equalizing then you HAVE TO GO UP a few feet, for me up to 5 feet. It's impossible to equalize when you're already experiencing pressure in your ear.

A second universal truth is that you need a lot more equalizing in the first five feet of descent, and less equalizing for the next five feet, and so on. I'll be equalizing once every four inches for the first five feet of descent.

For me, my right ear equalizes fine by holding my nose and blowing in it. But my left ear equalizes by sort of yawning, stretching my jaw out (losing the tight bite on my mouthpiece), tilting my head to one side, and the like. Blowing doesn't help it at all. After fifteen dives I can now do this as quickly as my right ear, and it's great because it equalizes hands-free.

Anyway, I've only done 20 dives by now, so I'm very inexpert. Take all this with a pinch of salt.

Jan 18, 2005


pupdive posted:

Don't buy a mask online, least of all a prescription mask. Call ahead to the destination and make sure they stock them, or better yet have them for rent. Most places do, because seeing is the point of diving.

I wear daily-disposable contact lenses for diving (and open water swimming). I'm a little surprised that daily contacts aren't more commonly suggested. Is there any reason to prefer prescription masks over contacts?

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