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jcbfly

My ear won't pop!

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I just started skydiving and I'm loving it. I've made around 40 jumps in the last month. I've got a problem though. For some reason my right ear won't "pop" completely. The left one sometimes takes hours to clear after a day at the DZ, but the right one has been at least partially "plugged" since July 30th! I tried the old "hold your nose and blow " trick, but that only partially clears the blockage. I went to the doc and she said try decongestants, which I did without any relief. She also suggested I try not jumping till it clears. It doesn't hurt or seem to effect my balance, so I've decided to ignore the "stop jumping" advice for now. The only real annoyance is that I'm slightly hard of hearing in my right ear.
Does anyone have advice on this subject? Thanks!

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Does anyone have advice on this subject? Thanks!


***

Power Drill?!;)


But seriously....you might want to have it 'looked' at by a E-N-T specialist.

I had that kind of thing going on when I started, but just kept jumping anyway.

My ear innards stuff is so screwed up NOW that I have to pressurize 10-15 times on the way UP, and 3-4 times under canopy or it feels like my head with explode.










~ If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn? ~

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a. Earplugs won't help nor hurt with clearing the ears. Actually, it's great to wear them for noise protection.

b. Most docs will recommend you don't jump until it clears, you could present yourself with serious inner ear damage. Go see an ENT that specializes in Aeromedical medicine. ie. a Flight Surgeon would be best.

c. Cleaning wax out of the ear canal will not help. Unless your totally freakin plugged with wax, and well......maybe that's why you can't hear!

d. No one should ever...ever.... valsalva (ie. pinch nose and blow) on the ride TO altitude. Only valsalva (there are other methods also) when going DOWN....



cheers....


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d. No one should ever...ever.... valsalva (ie. pinch nose and blow) on the ride TO altitude. Only valsalva (there are other methods also) when going DOWN....


i've never heard this. why? and how do you pop your ears when going to altitude if not "valsalva"?



Trust me; this guy knows what he is talking about. He works at the high altitude (hyperbaric) chamber in Texas.

There is no relationship between your ears “popping “from altitude and “swimmers ear”. One is pressure differential on either side of the tympanic membrane, eardrum, and the other is water in the outer ear cannel. To clear “swimmers ear” put a couple of drops of alcohol in you ear and break down the surface tension of the water.
My idea of a fair fight is clubbing baby seals

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You may try a decongestant such as neosynephrine as the physician recommends, but be wary of the side effects such as drowsiness. Be aware also that continued use of short acting agents may lead to a rebound effect whereas the symptoms return shortly after administration and to a higher degree.

I would recommend an ENT also, but be aware every physician will recommend "not jumping" as part of practicing defensive medicine.

As stated previously, ear plugs and cleaning the wax out of your ears will not effect this condition as they pertain to the external ear, not the middle ear.

VIRTUS JUNXIT MORS NON SEPARABIT

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d. No one should ever...ever.... valsalva (ie. pinch nose and blow) on the ride TO altitude. Only valsalva (there are other methods also) when going DOWN....


i've never heard this. why? and how do you pop your ears when going to altitude if not "valsalva"?



I'll drop a web link at the bottom to explain barotrauma, but basically gases "expand" going to altitude. Why do you fart going to altitude you think?B|

Anyway, there is a small amount of trapped gas in the middle ear space (just behind the eardrums) and as you travel to a reduced pressure, ie. climbing for altitude, the air/gas expands and travels "down" the eustachian tube and escapes typically with no discomfort at all.....automatically.

Descent, another story. Pressure increases around you in freefall, pushing IN on your eardrum (ouch), and you say hey, why does my ear hurt? well, it's because your poor eardrum doesn't like to ah, bend.

So you ask yourself, if it equalized on ascent, why doesn't it equalize automatically on descent?

Cause the opening in the eustachian tube really only "likes" to open to let air escape. You have to force it open typically to push some air UP the tube into the middle ear space thus "equalizing" the between the middle ear and the outside pressure.

Hope this answers your question.

a link for barotrauma...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barotrauma


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Try having the doctor check your ear wax and flush it out if you have a build-up. That's probably not the problem, but it doesn't hurt to do that occasionally. The little home kits with the bulb are too underpowered and inaccurate to do much good.

You could also try nasal irrigation to flush the gunk out of your sinuses. You can buy a couple of different saline products designed for that purpose. Don't flush them out with tap water though -- three or four people got infected with brain eating amoebas a few years ago after doing that.
I'm trying to teach myself how to set things on fire with my mind. Hey... is it hot in here?

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Wow, this is one of the first posts I made on dz.com! It's a little over 6 years later and I'm still jumping.

My ear problem simply resolved itself at around 100 jumps and it hasn't been an issue since. I guess my ears just adapted to the skydiving environment.

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It looks like you have the Eustace tubes partially blocked up. Those are the connection between the back of the throat and internal ear. When blocked up, you cannot get the balance of pressure between the outside and the inside of the ear. What the doctor said if fine if not changing your awareness while jumping. But a more simple remedy is for you to buy eucaliptus oil in a drugstore. You put some drops in a bowl of boiled water still very hot and breath it for few minutes. Repeat if necessary. Have also some special lubrication drops for ears (no prescription in a drugstore). That will keep your eardrums supple. After a while, the problem should disappear but after a long stay away from jumping, it can show up again. Having a cold or flu makes it worst. Good luck.:)
Learn from others mistakes, you will never live long enough to make them all.

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