Does this sound familiar to you, divers?
You’ve dropped thousands of dollars on a dive vacation to a beautiful tropical island. You got your gear serviced, you did a refresher in the pool at the resort yesterday to make sure all your gear was working properly and you read your scuba tune-up manual. On your first dive, your ears clear perfectly and you have a fabulous dive with turtles, rays and all the reef fish.
On the second dive, you begin happily descending down the line and then it happens. You can’t clear your ears! You follow the correct procedure of getting your buddy’s attention, signaling that your ears have a problem, and your buddy alerts the divemaster. The whole groups is staring at you while you slowly move up the line and try again. You can feel impatience radiating through the water as the other divers fin in slow circles around the bottom of the mooring line as they wait for you.
Not being able to equalize is a nightmare for divers. No equalizing = no diving. Divers learn to equalize in their Open Water certification course, but many (including experienced divers) are unaware that there are several ways to equalize. The one you learned in your course is not necessarily the best one!
My friends over at Dive.in made the killer infographic below to help spread the word about ears and diving. I hope this helps someone on their next dive trip!
As a small disclaimer, please remember that these equalization tips are for divers without any medical problems that prevent them from equalizing. Also, don’t forget that if you have a cold, allergies or congestion for any reason, you should not be diving. Do not take decongestants as they can wear off during the dive, and result in a reverse block on the way back up at the end. A dive is not worth risking permanent damage to your ears.