Equalization Miracle

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Tangfish
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Equalization Miracle

Post by Tangfish » Wed May 22, 2013 12:45 am

After years of diving and equalizing by squeezing my nose and blowing, like most of us always have had to do, I suddenly have become able to equalize without the nose squeeze!

I have no idea why this change happened, but am I glad as heck it did. It's not 100% of the time, and it is more gradual than the classic nose squeeze allows for, but I am super happy as an uw photog to be able to keep both hands on the camera while changing depths now.

Has anyone else ever has this happen? I had tried the jaw wiggle and such many times before but to no avail. The best way that I can explain how I'm able to equalize hands free now is just like how I usually do it on the airplane (jaw doesn't have to move).

Super happy, had to share (and am wondering if anyone else has had this happen, or knows how to improve the ability to being able to employ it 100% of the time).

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seattlepaul1975
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Re: Equalization Miracle

Post by seattlepaul1975 » Wed May 22, 2013 6:22 am

I found I was able to do it during my ow classes and have been since that time

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60south
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Re: Equalization Miracle

Post by 60south » Wed May 22, 2013 8:12 am

Oh how I wish that would happen to me! Trying, gently trying...

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Jeff Pack
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Re: Equalization Miracle

Post by Jeff Pack » Wed May 22, 2013 8:15 am

Interesting, I've been noting that lately myself. I used to have to equalize every 3-5ft feet with the blow'n'go and find now I dont always have to.

Still have to BnG when I descend, and for the first 40ft, but often after than I can jaw adjust abit, and I'm fine.

Once in the dive I can self equalize if a very slow descent or small depth change, but faster bigger ones still require the BnG.

Its strange, but a welcome change isnt it?
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- I got a good squirt in my mouth
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- I don't know about you but I'm not into swallowing it

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Tangfish
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Re: Equalization Miracle

Post by Tangfish » Wed May 22, 2013 8:23 am

Totally welcome. Thrilled actually. For me it's the easiest to equalize hands free at the beginning of the dive on the descent, regardless of how fast. Sort of gets a little harder toward the end of the dive, not sure why. I'll take what I can get. I've actually gotten better at it over the past few weeks of doing 3-4 dives a day.

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LCF
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Re: Equalization Miracle

Post by LCF » Wed May 22, 2013 8:37 am

I've been trying to learn how to do that for almost eight years. I can sometimes manage it in an airplane or car, but have never pulled it off while diving. It would be SO handy . . . Congratulations!
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defied
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Re: Equalization Miracle

Post by defied » Wed May 22, 2013 9:31 am

I've always been able to do it until I stopped diving as often during my military career. After I started back up again, it took a couple of years, but I have been able to do it again, just fine. I was wondering if the constant equalization makes the Eustachians/tympanic more flexible?

D

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Paladin4Christ
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Re: Equalization Miracle

Post by Paladin4Christ » Wed May 22, 2013 11:37 am

I always had trouble with my right ear but then a couple years ago I got the Swine Flu and I ended up with a huge ear infection in my right ear. So bad that it blew my ear drum. After antibiotics and getting cleared to dive...no more problems clearing the right ear.

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fmerkel
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Re: Equalization Miracle

Post by fmerkel » Wed May 22, 2013 1:25 pm

Technique and practice absolutely helps. I clear fine but almost always have to do a valsalva in the water. Out of the water I can easily do a clear with a jaw movement. If I'm careful on SOME dives I can get away with a jaw wiggle underwater. There are non-evident variations in swelling/congestion/inflammation over both short and long time frames that will come into play for those with more marginal abilities. I pay close attention so can often tell before I get in the water.

The restrictions of the hood and mask pressure, limitation of jaw movement with the reg in, and the significant change in pressure to the whole clearing system with little vertical movement in water all contribute. Mostly it's simply a matter of how you are biologically built.
Last edited by fmerkel on Wed May 22, 2013 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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60south
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Re: Equalization Miracle

Post by 60south » Wed May 22, 2013 8:35 pm

Hmmm. You got me thinkin'...

I can usually clear above water with a jaw wiggle, but find it hard to do full motion with a regulator mouthpiece in my mouth.

This makes me wonder if clearing would be easier with the reg out of my mouth (inconvenient), or whether some other kind of yet-to-be-invented mouthpiece might permit easier jaw wiggling...

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pogiguy05
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Re: Equalization Miracle

Post by pogiguy05 » Thu May 23, 2013 1:42 am

I am one of the lucky ones I guess that does not have that problem with equalizing and it seems for me to just happen with no special effort. The ONLY time I notice anything is the first 1-2 dives after I have had a head cold i do have to do the Blow to clear my ears. That is when I feel for you who have to all the time as it can be very uncomfortable feeling.
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Tangfish
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Re: Equalization Miracle

Post by Tangfish » Thu May 23, 2013 10:54 am

Yes, hands free equalizing seems much more gradual and easier on the ears and sinuses than doing the nose/blow method. I am really hoping that this skill continues to improve like it has been.

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winte.r
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Re: Equalization Miracle

Post by winte.r » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:28 pm

This is only semi on topic, does anyone else have to squeeze and blow to equalize after riding their motorcycle? After about 30 minutes I feel like I'm going deaf and only equalizing helps.

On topic, I bought some of those ear plugs for diving and when I used them I didn't have to consciously clear my ears at all. This made me think they were possibly dangerous, like if they failed I'd have an eardrum rupture plus vertigo and vomiting at depth, so I've left them at home. Anyone else try them out?

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fmerkel
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Re: Equalization Miracle

Post by fmerkel » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:12 am

The vented Docs Proplugs? Been using them for years. IMO they don't particularly help with equalization, but they don't seem to hinder it either. What I use them for is keeping cold water out of my ears. I have a tendency toward surfer's ear (exostosis) from years of windsurfing cold water. They help if you are one of those individuals that tend to get dizzy if you get cold water on the eardrum. I also dislike the loud crackle of the reg bubbles, they damp that down a bit.
They also help with swimmer's ear (Otitis externa) buy keeping the ear canal drier.

They HAVE to be vented! This is critical. There are non-vented ones.
They have to fit well-not as easy as it would seem.
You have to make sure the vent is open every dive.
You occasionally get odd looks or comments from divers who think you are nuts.
The red ones are harder to lose.....pesky little beggars to keep track of, but they don't hold up as well as the semi-clear ones.
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Tangfish
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Re: Equalization Miracle

Post by Tangfish » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:15 am

I tried some doc's pro plugs on my last dive trip. As far as I can tell they didn't actually do anything, so after a couple dozen dives I stopped using them. Maybe it's because I wear a hood which does some of what you mentioned Frank.

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Gdog
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Re: Equalization Miracle

Post by Gdog » Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:57 pm

Im a fan of the proplugs. When doing multiple dives, as in Bonaire, my ears get really waterlogged. Usually after about 3 days of multiple dives, I am forced to take a day out and let them clear. By using the proplugs, I am able to dive without stopping. Did 9 days of 4 daily dives last trip with no ear issues.

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fmerkel
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Re: Equalization Miracle

Post by fmerkel » Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:05 pm

Yep, one of their strong points. I got otitis media (outer ear infection) that spoiled a couple of my days in Bonaire. Proplugs and ear beer diligence has take care of that.
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winte.r
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Re: Equalization Miracle

Post by winte.r » Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:36 pm

Yeah they are proplugs, I'll try them out again, I had them fitted at the shop , the method was to buy the largest set that would actually fit in my ear

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johndo88
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Re: Equalization Miracle

Post by johndo88 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 6:35 pm

winte.r wrote:This is only semi on topic, does anyone else have to squeeze and blow to equalize after riding their motorcycle? After about 30 minutes I feel like I'm going deaf and only equalizing helps.....


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Mattleycrue76
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Re: Equalization Miracle

Post by Mattleycrue76 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:30 pm

I've noticed that if I make sure and equalize soon enough, in other words as soon as there is the slightest hint of pressure build up, I cant just exhale forcefully through my nose and the back pressure from the mask is sufficient to clear my ears.
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