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huka551

ear problems

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Does anyone find they have problems with their ears aching after a lot of jumping? Maybe I'm just getting a cold, but I jumped more then usual over the weekend and then took a commercial flight and was in so much pain on the flight my ears just wouldn't pop! And today they still hurt!

Muff Brother 3723

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It happens to a lot of us from time to time... Everyone's different. I don't really have problems like that though, not sure why. But yeah, I've seen others in pain...
"Mediocre people don't like high achievers, and high achievers don't like mediocre people." - SIX TIME National Champion coach Nick Saban

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The noise can damage your hearing and hurt. Ear plugs can alleviate some problems.

Wendy W.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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I believe most of your problem can be classified as "you don't listen...":D

A lot of these type situations can come from traveling, with a bunch of different climates. Head colds or stuffiness result and make it tough to clear your ears. See a Dr. if it gets worse.

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I have painful ear problems even with a little bit of jumping. The problem began earlier this year when I started jumping regularly again, probably about 5-7 jumps per weekend. I used to take some type of allergy pill (Claritin, Alavert, Allegra) + a non-drying decongestant which usually took care of things.

The pain and pressure usually happen on the climb to altitude at about 6-8k, then the pain settles down, and then my ears pop after deployment. Sometimes I'll get sharp pains in my ears when I'm just sitting around, and it usually occurs in the right ear.

Most days it feels like I have sinus congestion behind my ears, and I have an "itchy inner ear" and/or "underwater pressure" feeling that I can't pop/clear. I also feel congestion deeper in my sinuses (in the middle of my head), but I rarely have nasal congestion.

My doctor thought that it might be eustachian tube dysfunction (my ears don't drain properly). Many toddlers, including my 2-yr old niece had this problem, and I guess I never outgrew it! Anyway, the Dr. prescribed Flonase, which didn't help at all. She finally referred me to an ENT, so maybe he can shed some light on what's going on.

There have been more than a few times where the pain was quite bad, and I wasn't comfortable jumping for fear of bursting something in my ears...

_Pm
__
"Scared of love, love and aeroplanes...falling out, I said takes no brains." -- Andy Partridge (XTC)

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I had some of the worst ear pain after my first jump or two. It was one of the only reasons I was afraid of getting skydiving lessons.

Now ear pain doesn't register, although I had a brief bout with it during a high altitude jump.

Equallizing may help but I heard something about it not being recommended to equallize on your way UP (don't hold your nose and blow while climbing to altitude). I hearrd that's only supposed to be done on the way down (i.e. landing), not the way up (i.e. climbing to altitude).

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i've only had earproblems once. i had a cold, but there was a boogie i really wanted to go to. so i went. First jump my right ear hurted so bad i thought the eardrum would burst, when i was back on the ground. So on the second load i went off at 5000, then it only hurt quite bad. :) next day my ears didnt hurt so much, but my sinuses (thats the right name?) did. On each jump my goggles was covered with goo from my nose. on the 4th jump, the goo was 50/50 blood and goo. Then I decided to take a break. at least until the next day... came blood out of my nose for a week after that. fun :)

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i've only had earproblems once. i had a cold, but there was a boogie i really wanted to go to. so i went. First jump my right ear hurted so bad i thought the eardrum would burst, when i was back on the ground. So on the second load i went off at 5000, then it only hurt quite bad. :) next day my ears didnt hurt so much, but my sinuses (thats the right name?) did. On each jump my goggles was covered with goo from my nose. on the 4th jump, the goo was 50/50 blood and goo. Then I decided to take a break. at least until the next day... came blood out of my nose for a week after that. fun :)



I did that too... went to a Mullins $99 boogie-til-ya-puke so I could jump all I wanted from his King Air. I had a cold too... Well, it ended up being a boogie-til-ya-bleed after 6 jumps for me... :S
"Mediocre people don't like high achievers, and high achievers don't like mediocre people." - SIX TIME National Champion coach Nick Saban

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i got terrible ear pain on my first jump, but nothing since :S

what nasal sprays do people use?



I spoke to my GP about the problem and he recommended that I use Beconase. So far so good... it's alleviated my ear and sinus problems a lot.

You can buy Beconase in Boots without a prescription.

Vicki

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I haven't jumped in a month, but have found that my eustachian tubes are blocked and causing me pain. I am planning to jump this weekend, but a little hesitant due to this fact. I've been taking Allegra, which seems to be helping, but I'm scared of permanent damage to my eardrum. I guess I really need to go to the doctor. It takes forever for my ears to pop after I come down from a jump. I don't have a problem going to altitude, it's when I am down on the ground afterward. I can go for days without my ears popping or being fully cleared after a jump. Anyway, it's good to know that I'm not the only one having this problem.


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Equallizing may help but I heard something about it not being recommended to equallize on your way UP (don't hold your nose and blow while climbing to altitude). I hearrd that's only supposed to be done on the way down (i.e. landing), not the way up (i.e. climbing to altitude).



You are correct. Ears clear automatically on ascent. It's only on descent where some manual manipulation may be required for some and is necessary for others.


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There have been more than a few times where the pain was quite bad, and I wasn't comfortable jumping for fear of bursting something in my ears...



To tell you the truth, it's not the "rupturing" of an eardrum that should worry you. Eardrums usually heal. It's the rupture of your "oval window" that should worry you, cause it would provide direct access for bacteria into the "inner ear". Now, that's some bad shit. Lots to worry about, including possible permanent loss of orientation, and/or hearing loss, etc.......

Interesting how people jump with colds and really don't realize how bad it could really get.....

Rule of thumb: little congestion? spray out with good decongestant and go jump.

Lots of congestion? Go see your doc, tell them your a skydiver, and then stay on the ground and get over your congestion issues....

edit to add: although some people with a "little" congestion can still have significant blockage.... ya'll be careful out there!

Buck out


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My ears were "clogged" for 2 weeks after my first tandem - one of the MDs I work with suggested Sudafed and after 3 days I was ok - on second jump I took it for 3 days prior and had absolutely no problems
I used to cry, now I hold my head up high..
and you see me, somebody new...

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I jumped with a cold this weekend. I was taking tons of Mucenex so I thought I would be ok. Saturday was fine, but Sunday things didn't work out so well. By the time I was under canopy I had lost hearing in both ears! This made for the interesting experience of a silent canopy ride... It's a bit erie when you can hear the wind.

By the time I got to the ground it felt like little ice picks were being applied to my ears. My left ear has 'mostly' cleared, but I still can't really hear much out of my right ear. It 'feels' clogged.

I'm trying out the Pseudoephedrine suggestions from this thread to see if I can get things to clear up.

I sure hope it's nothing permanant..

~Gav
Life doesn't need reasons, just participants.

D.S.#21

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My experience:

My ears refuse to clear themselves spontaneously on EVERY jump.

In the beginning of my jumping career I would stay plugged up for almost a week.

I tried the decongestants mentioned above...

-- Afrin spray (oxymetolazone) did nothing for me.
-- Sudafed (psuedoephedrine) oral tabs helped some but kept me awake all night.
-- Sudafed PE (phenylephrine) oral tabs helped some but allowed me to sleep.

I finally learned that it is critical that I equalize my ears IMMEDIATELY upon landing (before picking up my canopy). My hypothesis is that if I delay equalizing, the pressure induces swelling of the mucus membrane lining my Eustacian Tubes. If I can resolve the pressure quickly, I can keep the swelling from occuring. Once the swelling begins... It will take DAYS for my ears to clear.

How I clear my ears effectively:

I pinch my nose closed. I slowly but firmly build pressue in my throat with a valsalva maneuver (like pushing to move bowels), once I have pressure built (slowly) I swallow repeatedly to open my ears. Once I hear the squeaking of my ear clearing.... I keep the pressure applied to continue pushing air into the middle ear.

At no time do I push air quickly/forcefully into my ear... I am patient and let moderate pressure gently applied squeak into my ears.

I have some jumping friends who have found that this works wonders for them too.

Of course, your situation may be different, and seeing a ear, nose, and throat doc is a fine idea if you struggle with your ears and jumping.
The choices we make have consequences, for us & for others!

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I had a history of being the slowest of our group to descend while scuba diving. It was because I had to work harder to clear my ears. Like others, I tried Sudafed and it helped a little. The thing that helped the most was daily ear-clearing exercises. I would hold my nose closed, open my jaw but close my lips, lower my chin toward my chest, and gently pressurize my ears. After doing this for a while I noticed that I could more readily clear my ears and could descend more quickly.

Fast forward a number of years. Now I use the same technique after I am under canopy to clear my ears from the pressurization experienced during freefall. I don't wait until I am on the ground as it's harder to clear with more pressure differential.

Hope this helps.
The meaning of life . . . is to make life have meaning.

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Wow, I made my first four jumps this weekend and I have been wondering all week. Doubled up on the Mucinex and my ears finally started clearing today. Had to do a Valsalva maneuver (nose pinch) halfway down on every jump. Gives me problems going down on scuba also.

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