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Ear Pain

9 replies to this topic

#1 Crazyblade1209

  • NANFA Guest
  • Limington, Maine

Posted 21 May 2015 - 09:20 AM

I wanted to start snorkeling for natives but anything over 5 feet of water it seems and my ears start to hurt from the pressure. Anything I can do to avoid this?

#2 Casper

  • NANFA Fellow
  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 21 May 2015 - 09:28 AM

Take Sudafed before snorkeling, it opens the ear canals, a diver's trick.  Most of us lay on the surface.  Diving down and holding on is rare with the exception of 2 photogs i know.  Usually we float on the surface.

Just get in and do it.

Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#3 littlen

  • NANFA Member
  • Washington, D.C.

Posted 21 May 2015 - 11:00 AM

Do you "clear" your ears when diving?  Another way of saying that is to equalize the pressure in your ear canal?  When you feel the pressure, pinch your nose and then gently blow.  If you're like me, it shouldn't be a problem.  Some people and even divers just have a difficult time equalizing every time.  Maybe you're part of that camp?  Fortunately most streams are shallower than 5' so it should not pose a problem.

Nick L.

#4 Crazyblade1209

  • NANFA Guest
  • Limington, Maine

Posted 21 May 2015 - 11:53 AM

I did not know about equalizing and Ill try it next time I'm out. As for depth I like to frequent some larger lakes where I know there are large bass populations at around 

10', and I like to get down to the same level as them. As well as one of the ponds near me has a very active drop off and theres always all kinds of species hanging around it.

#5 littlen

  • NANFA Member
  • Washington, D.C.

Posted 21 May 2015 - 07:55 PM

The deeper you go, the more times you'll need to equalize you're ears.  Some people have an easier time than others as I mentioned.  Sometimes I can mock-swallow and that will do the trick.  But pinching your nose and gently blowing usually always does it unless you have some sinus congestion.  

Just remember to equalize as soon as you feel the slightest pressure.  It should go away until you reach the next atmosphere as you descend.  At 10' you should only have to clear twice or so.

Nick L.

#6 Sean Phillips

Sean Phillips
  • NANFA Member
  • Allegheny River Drainage, Southwest PA

Posted 21 May 2015 - 08:11 PM

To equalize, make sure your sinuses are not "clogged" and then pinch your nose and try to blow out. Normally works for me when I have trouble when diving but usually I can just "click" something inside my head without doing anything more and they'll pop. Equalizing should ideally take place every 3 feet is what I was taught and it becomes increasingly difficult to do it for every atmosphere (BAR) you descend that occur around every 33 feet, still not to bad until you hit the triple digits in my experience though. It becomes second nature after a while of doing it, so far I've successfully gotten to 90 feet with no signs of equalization problems, Nitrogen narc. is more the problem when you get that deep lol.
Sean Phillips - Pine Creek Watershed - Allegheny River Drainage

#7 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 21 May 2015 - 08:23 PM

This is also something you should ask your doctor about. If you are having pressure issues at shallow depths, it could be something that an ENT specialist should look at. Probably not a big deal, but our forum snorkel crew, though they certainly know their stuff, can only generalize. If you are really feeling pain at less than ten feet, call your doctor. I know, I sound like that lawyer at the end of a drug commercial, but you need to take care. Good luck, and I hope you resolve this soon.

The member formerly known as Skipjack

#8 Crazyblade1209

  • NANFA Guest
  • Limington, Maine

Posted 21 May 2015 - 09:06 PM

Its not so much as a pain as it is pressure, I just didn't really know what to call it haha, Im pretty sure its because Im not equalized (equalizing?)

#9 don212

  • NANFA Member

Posted 04 June 2015 - 08:37 AM

10 feet is not shallow in this respect, what you are experiencing is normal, you must equalize, try gently valsalving  just before you go down , you will probably also want a weight belt, you want to be neutral buoyant on surface, otherwise at 10 feet you may be thrashing around to stay down. don't overweight though .

#10 Betta132

  • NANFA Guest
  • San Gabriel drainage area

Posted 04 June 2015 - 03:53 PM

Be careful with taking any kind of medication to clear your ears. It can wear off in the middle of your fun and leave you in pain and unable to fix the problem.

Edited by Betta132, 04 June 2015 - 03:54 PM.

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