When scuba diving, your ears are most vulnerable and at risk of being injured during the first 14 feet of the descent. If you want to avoid injuries like otitis externa, otitis media or a tympanic membrane rupture, you'll have to learn how to equalize your ears to prevent pressure from building up within the canals. To prevent injuries, descend slowly and equalize your ears every 2 feet for the first 15 feet then every 3 feet to 33 feet. There are many ear equalization techniques you can try. Here are two in particular that you should rotate through depending on how deep you plan to dive.
Start with the Valsava Maneuver
To equalize pressure on descent, try out the Valsava maneuver. It's the simplest technique of the twoand should be first performed at the surface of the water before the descent. This technique involves pinching your lips and nose and blowing gently. This moves air into your Eustachian tube.
The trick to the Valsava maneuver is to always blow gently. You never want to force the exhalation, as this may actually damage your Eustachian tubes. If you're having trouble implementing the Valsava maneuver, tilt your head backwards or extend your lower jaw outwards. This might help open up the Eustachian tube, making it easier for air to travel into.
Try Out the Advanced Frenzel Technique
If you're going to be scuba diving at greater depths, you'll want to master the Frenzel technique, as it is more efficient and powerful in comparison to many of the other alternatives available. To execute the Frenzel technique, pinch your nose, fill your mouth with air, close your epiglottis and use your tongue to force the air towards the back of your throat. If you do it right, the air will have nowhere else to go, but into the Eustachian tubes.
The Frenzel technique is a highly recommended technique for those who are interested in more advanced diving because of its efficiency. The tongue is a very strong muscle, and will be able to thrust the air into the Eustachian tubes even when you are deep underwater.
The further down you descend, the more important it is to learn more advanced ear equalization techniques. This is due to the fact that immense pressure is pushing against the internal air chambers of your ears. If you learn how to equalize properly, you'll avoid numerous ear injuries and better enjoy your scuba diving adventures.Share