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Nabz

Ear Pain (from pressure)

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Hey gals and guys,

Went for my first jump of the year yesterday, first day of the season here in cold Canada (yes still cold)... was about -20C at altitude.

What do you all do to minimize ear pain from the change of pressure ? I usually have a little bit of pain and by the time i land its mostly gone and ears are popped. Yesterday was different pain was pretty bad like an 7-8/10 compared to 3-4/10 and one of my ears is still "plugged", couldn't jump again as i was afraid it would make it worse.

Can the cold have an impact on this ? Will it subside with time ? 

 

But man did it feel good to be back up in the sky :)

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6 hours ago, Nabz said:

Hey gals and guys,

Went for my first jump of the year yesterday, first day of the season here in cold Canada (yes still cold)... was about -20C at altitude.

What do you all do to minimize ear pain from the change of pressure ? I usually have a little bit of pain and by the time i land its mostly gone and ears are popped. Yesterday was different pain was pretty bad like an 7-8/10 compared to 3-4/10 and one of my ears is still "plugged", couldn't jump again as i was afraid it would make it worse.

Can the cold have an impact on this ? Will it subside with time ? 

 

But man did it feel good to be back up in the sky :)

I know exactly what you're experiencing.  I have terrible ears for this sport.  I perforated my eardrums several times when I first started.  I began to use Afrin nasal spray about 20 min before a jump, and took non-drowsy sudafed in the morning.  Helped me a ton.  Or...a tonne (since you're a Canuck ;-) kidding).  Good luck!

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Having had similar problems I would encourage you to consult with an Ear Nose Throat Doctor.  It may be more that just an allergy type problem.  I discovered that I had nasal polyps which required different medications to remediate the problems.

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18 hours ago, yobnoc said:

I know exactly what you're experiencing.  I have terrible ears for this sport.  I perforated my eardrums several times when I first started.  I began to use Afrin nasal spray about 20 min before a jump, and took non-drowsy sudafed in the morning.  Helped me a ton.  Or...a tonne (since you're a Canuck ;-) kidding).  Good luck!

Thank for the recommendation yobnoc, I will give this a try.

I have always had issues with air travel and my ears blocking/pain since I was a child... a while back I flew to Jamaica and it took me 6 days to get my left ear to unplug... I tried everything and then i woke up and they were normalized.

Ton/Tonne, tomato tomatoe... same shit ;)

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2 hours ago, Genego said:

Having had similar problems I would encourage you to consult with an Ear Nose Throat Doctor.  It may be more that just an allergy type problem.  I discovered that I had nasal polyps which required different medications to remediate the problems.

Funny you mention this is that after the flight to Jamaica (in my above post) I did just that and he said I have sensitive ear drums and that I could try to manually normalize which helps a bit but not much.

And its not every time its only here and there with air travel ( i fly 4-5 times per year for work and pleasure) and happened only once or twice skydiving but was no where near this pain.

I was also told that the cold could have affected this as I mentioned in my opening post that it was -19C at 14K

 

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I take a decongestant before my first jump of the day during allergy season, because if I'm at all congested, I'll have trouble with ear pain. Sometimes I have to take another later in the day, sometimes one dose does the trick. You might find it helps you as well...

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18 hours ago, betzilla said:

I take a decongestant before my first jump of the day during allergy season, because if I'm at all congested, I'll have trouble with ear pain. Sometimes I have to take another later in the day, sometimes one dose does the trick. You might find it helps you as well...

Thank you for the suggestion betzilla, will give that a try.

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(edited)

Some people (looks like you to) have narrower ear channels and have serious problem quickly leveling the pressure built from a fast descent. I heard this from my personal doctor, she has the same issue hence rendering it impossible to descent fast. Her eardrum burst once she went for an adrenaline flight in a Porter.

It greatly helps if you blow your nose when the canopy inflates. it is still 1000m difference in pressure, reducing it gradually will help.

Edited by Maddingo

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Literally the worst pain I've ever felt was after jumping while congested. A couple of hours after I got home I wanted to take a power tool to my sinuses to relieve the pressure. I now don't jump if I'm really congested, and like other people suggested I always have Sudafed in my gear bag and freely offer it to people feeling congested. I'll take some at home before I leave for the DZ and then re-up a few hours later. It's made a big difference (though it does keep me awake, so be wary of taking it later in the day).

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It's pretty common among skydivers. I only had it to be really bad 3 times, one in the last jump of a pretty important event going higher than usual. In allergy season or if my nose is a bit congested, I already take a Sudafed (decongestant) preemptively. Just like we do with kids on commercial planes, chewing gum on the way up also helps preventing pain both on way up or down. Pain almost always comes around breakoff altitude for me for some reason. If it's just mild, sometimes just letting the saliva in will unblock your ears.

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