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shailesh

ear safety and proper breathing

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I did my first tandem yesterday and excited to start my IAF soon.
1) question on ear safety: while free falling during my tandem my ears where hurting quite a bit because of the air rushing inside my ear, I wasn't wearing a helmet. So should I wear ear plug in my upcoming jumps ? Or helmet would help?

2) question on breathing: May be because it was my first jump, I felt a little short of oxygen up there for my brain. any suggestions ?


-Cheers
Shailesh

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Are you sure the pain wasn't just from the rapid air pressure change? If that is the case, most divers... sky AND SCUBA, will tell you that it will pass after a while. It is a case of just becoming acclimated to it.
Why drive myself crazy trying to be normal, when I am already at crazy?

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shailesh

I did my first tandem yesterday and excited to start my IAF soon.
1) question on ear safety: while free falling during my tandem my ears where hurting quite a bit because of the air rushing inside my ear, I wasn't wearing a helmet. So should I wear ear plug in my upcoming jumps ? Or helmet would help?



This could be either your ears being sensitive to wind (in this case, the helmet that you will wear for IAF will help), or a sinus problem (which a helmet will do nothing for). Make sure you are not congested before your next jump if it is. I would not recommend ear plugs: some wont let the air pressure equalize, and, they all make hearing the radio more difficult.

Quote

2) question on breathing: May be because it was my first jump, I felt a little short of oxygen up there for my brain. any suggestions ?



Breathing usually helps ;)
Remster

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My ears are sensitive to loud noise and I have some hearing damage. I want to save what hearing I have. Foam earplugs helped with the noise and did not keep me from hearing a chest mounted radio as a student.

If you were in pain, it was most likely from the increase in outside pressure as you decended. You need to learn manage that to avoid the pain.
Instructor quote, “What's weird is that you're older than my dad!”

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I've noticed that I have sinus issues and sometimes it effects my ears while skydiving. I take a nasal decongestion pill every morning before I head to the drop zone and it seems to do the trick. Half the time I don't even remember to wear my ear plugs since there was no pain on the previous jump.

Little red pill. Generic nasal decongestion pill. works like a charm for me! No more headache or earache

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I don't think you are going to have a choice. You will be wearing a helmet for your IAD jumps. So see if that works. The majority of people that I see wearing earplugs are not wearing helmets.
And I always, when the breathing in freefall thing comes up, think of blowing in a babies face. They immediately lurch back and quit breathing for a moment. The breathing in freefall problem will pass...quickly.

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The majority of people that I see wearing earplugs are not wearing helmets.



I see a lot of people with helmets wearing earplugs.

For the OP - below is a link to a thread I started about some really good earplugs:

http://www.dropzone.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=4083263#4083263
People are sick and tired of being told that ordinary and decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am

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Wearing a helmet is irrelevant to wearing earplugs. Both are used for completely different reasons.

And yes, I recommend both. Helmets are pretty obvious, and I love my earplugs for the distraction they take away. The sound (freefall wind, canopy lines singing, audible going off) is still there, it's just not so loud it hurts. For me, it made a world of difference for my mental calm (and directly related, my ability to focus) when I started jumping with earplugs.

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IJskonijn

Wearing a helmet is irrelevant to wearing earplugs.



I'm not sure I agree, although I think it does depend on the type of helmet.

Open-face helmets can prevent the air from rushing directly past the ears, and that's always going to help - but I'd say my full-face helmet provides significant noise attentuation over and above that. The shell and the padding, and the fact that it's (kind of) a sealed enclosure, do block some of the sound.

Personally I wouldn't want to wear earplugs in freefall, because I'd be worried about them impeding pressure equalisation - but then I am prone to sinus troubles.

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shailesh

I did my first tandem yesterday and excited to start my IAF soon.
1) question on ear safety: while free falling during my tandem my ears where hurting quite a bit because of the air rushing inside my ear, I wasn't wearing a helmet. So should I wear ear plug in my upcoming jumps ? Or helmet would help?

2) question on breathing: May be because it was my first jump, I felt a little short of oxygen up there for my brain. any suggestions ?


-Cheers
Shailesh



1. Wear ear plugs and helmet on jumps..those are always a good idea.

2. It's a good idea to also breath...don't hold your breath on a skydive.

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IJskonijn

For me, it made a world of difference for my mental calm (and directly related, my ability to focus) when I started jumping with earplugs.



+1

I got custom earplugs with -15 db filter when i started jumping. That was one of the best investments, they are super comfortable and do not interfere with the pressure change while jumping.

I got a tinitus from exposure to loud noise before. You do not want that. It's scary. Think of the ringing in the ears when you had to much noise at a party, and then think of that sound NOT going away in the morning.

Get earplugs. They will not keep you from talking to people on the plane, you can still talk to them just fine, i can actually hear them even better.

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+1+1...

I too have Tinnitis. It sucks. You don't want it. There are older threads about wearing earplugs while jumping. Do a search for them, OP. Lots of good info, there. I posted a link in one of them to an animation. It shows how our ears equalize pressures. Earplugs don't cause any problems w/that. Turbine Plane engines are LOUD. Freefall noise levels are LOUD. Our sport exposes us to levels well above OSHA's maximum acceptable exposure limits. You only get one set of ears. Wear Earplugs.

FWIW. I wear these:

[Url]http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00362CNMM/ref=aw_d_pd_industrial[/url]

They're very comfy. Fit in my smallish ear canals, & provide a 32dB noise reduction.

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djar

I got custom earplugs with -15 db filter when i started jumping. That was one of the best investments, they are super comfortable and do not interfere with the pressure change while jumping.



I don't think it's even necessary to get customized earplugs. I've got a box of 200 pairs of molex foam earplugs. They provide roughly -35dB attenuation, and at a cost of €0.15/pair, I won't cry if I lose one. Although I've never jumped custom-made earplugs, I see they could provide just that extra bit of comfort.

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IJskonijn

Although I've never jumped custom-made earplugs, I see they could provide just that extra bit of comfort.



They offer *much* more comfort. For jumping, yes, foam ones would do it. But for a party with music, they are unusable. They are not linear in the filtering, you can not enjoy the music anymore.

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PiLFy

+1+1...

I too have Tinnitis. It sucks. You don't want it. There are older threads about wearing earplugs while jumping. Do a search for them, OP. Lots of good info, there. I posted a link in one of them to an animation. It shows how our ears equalize pressures. Earplugs don't cause any problems w/that. Turbine Plane engines are LOUD. Freefall noise levels are LOUD. Our sport exposes us to levels well above OSHA's maximum acceptable exposure limits. You only get one set of ears. Wear Earplugs.

FWIW. I wear these:

[Url]http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00362CNMM/ref=aw_d_pd_industrial[/url]

They're very comfy. Fit in my smallish ear canals, & provide a 32dB noise reduction.



Im another tinnitus sufferer (was a DJ and sound engineer before becoming a doc... the beating on my ears was just awful) and after my tandem jump the ringing was horrible for about a week. Back to baseline (mild) now. I will be wearing earplugs and figure I can either turn the radio up, or once under canopy I can always pull them out if I can fit a hand under the helmet.

120mph wind rushing by the ears will make anyone sensitive; and unlike most things... hearing never comes back. Ever. And Tinnitus never goes away. Ever.
You are not the contents of your wallet.

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As to the SECOND question... about breathing...

My tandem I felt the same, then I did a quick check of my respiratory rate: 30. It should be 10-14. You breathe that fast for a while, you blow off your CO2 but have PLENTY of oxygen. The alkalosis (blood becoming slightly basic) can shift your calcium... blah blah blah.... you get lightheaded and may feel a tingling sensation in your fingers/toes and around your mouth.

You actually have PLENTY of oxygen, the trick is to ensure you are breathing. Breathing IS required. If you start feeling "heady" just take a quick time out and take 5 VERY SLOW FULL BREATHS. Calm yourself, and you'll be right back to normal.
You are not the contents of your wallet.

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"I will be wearing earplugs and figure I can either turn the radio up, or once under canopy I can always pull them out if I can fit a hand under the helmet."

I wear a Benny. You can simply reach an index finger up inside the helmet, & flick an earplug out. The ear pocket of the helmet will keep the earplug from being lost. Understanding the spotty, static-laden student radios? That varies greatly, with or without earplugs :P.

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PiLFy

"I will be wearing earplugs and figure I can either turn the radio up, or once under canopy I can always pull them out if I can fit a hand under the helmet."

I wear a Benny. You can simply reach an index finger up inside the helmet, & flick an earplug out. The ear pocket of the helmet will keep the earplug from being lost. Understanding the spotty, static-laden student radios? That varies greatly, with or without earplugs :P.



You're not making me feel better about being guided in by radio ;)
You are not the contents of your wallet.

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Did my first tandem skydive today and had a similar issue. On coming out of the plane, almost instantly I had intense pain in my right ear though at the time, I couldn't tell if it was from cold / wind / gunk in my ears (I was wearing a rubber helmet as required by the drop zone). The only thing I was fairly certain of was that it wasn't to do with pressure changes as it only occurred in one ear and it didn't change in intensity through swallowing / gulping air / putting pressure on the outside of my ear which are all things I usually do to equalise pressure in my ears.

I was in a lot of pain throughout the jump, and it continued for a few hours afterwards until I got home and was able to put some surgical spirit into it. I suspect I had a little bit of water or some gunk in my ear as the pain was alleviated almost instantly once I'd managed to get the drops down (I have very narrow ear canals and cannot scuba dive because I cannot equalise the pressure - I do not fly anywhere with a head cold or sinus issues).

I was going to ask the question about ear plugs because I will not do my course if I think I am likely to suffer that pain repeatedly (felt like someone jabbed me in the ear with a sharp stick!), but am prepared to try another jump if I think I can prevent air getting in. I was thinking of using my moldable swim ear plugs as they keep water out so should be ok to keep cold air out. Will test them with my motorbike helmet which has a 2-way radio with my partner's bike helmet so that will tell me if I can hear a radio ok with them in :)
Pixie
A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions - Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr

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I have allergies really bad almost year round. On the ride up to altitude sometimes one or both of my ears wouldn't have popped, and by 11,000 feet I would be in a lot of pain. However I found that wearing earplugs helps 100% with the ride up. No pain and a speedy adjustment for my ears.
But, sometimes on a really steep trackdive, or having to dive down to a formation, there would be pain in my ears from the rapid altitude change and the earplugs not letting my ears adjust properly.
I think wearing earplugs are a plus, but you may want to take them out before you exit.

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Your Ears equalize through the Eustachian Tubes. Google it. These Airplanes must seal the outer part of the ear canal. While the wearer keeps the mouth shut to minimize the Eustachian Tubes changing the other side of the tympanic membrane (eardrum). Regular Earplugs won't do diddly for pressure problems. They only mitigate loud noises. Are you the poster who said you'd remove your earplugs before exiting the plane? Bad idea. The wind noise in Free Fall hits 130 decibels. That's enough to do damage over time.

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