A Diver’s Guide to Equalizing Your Ears

equalizing ears
1 Oct 2020

A Diver’s Guide to Equalizing Your Ears

Do you love the water? Are you longing for a COVID-19-safe getaway? When diving for the first time, few people expect the pressure. As you make your way under the water, you’ll experience pressure in your head. There are various ways to cope with this. In fact, many divers have developed a system for equalizing ears.

This will help you cope as you descend through the water. But what are these equalization techniques? Keep on reading to find out!

Understand Your Ears

There’s a physiological reason you need to equalize ears as you’re going under the water. Your ears are actually quite delicate. Your outer ear consists of the part we can see and the ear canal.

Beyond your eardrum, the middle ear exists. It houses delicate mechanisms that control your ability to hear.

Your middle ear consists of dead air space. It connects to your throat via your Eustachian tubes.

When you dive, the pressure outside your ear increases. If you want to avoid ear damage, you need to increase the pressure in your inner ear to match that outside of your ear.

This is known as equalizing your ears.

Equalizing Ears

You actually equalize your ears all the time without even realizing it. Whenever you swallow, your throat pulls the Eustachian tubes open, which affects the air pressure in your middle ear.

Try it right now. Take a gulp and listen for the slight popping sound.

Tips for Equalizing Your Ears While Diving

Ears were not made to withstand the pressure of descending many, many feet quickly. This is why pressure builds up in your ears, and you experience an increased need to equalize them.

Let’s get into some scuba diving tips for doing this effectively.

Start Before You Dive

A few hours before you get into the water, start equalizing your ears every couple of minutes.

You can do this by chewing gum, which prompts you to swallow more often. You can also drink some water or your favorite beverage.

Begin Your Descent

Going in head first increases the pressure applied to your ears by at least 50%. This elevates your chances of incurring ear damage while diving.

To avoid this, go feet first into the water. Keep looking upward, as this extension of your neck opens your Eustachian tubes.

If possible, use a mooring line to help lower yourself. This allows you to more accurately control your speed.

Swallow often, and don’t wait until you feel pain.

What If You Feel Pain?

If you start to feel pain, stop. There’s a chance that your Eustachian tubes might have closed due to the pressure.

Go up a little bit more and try to equalize until you feel better.

Do You Love Scuba Diving?

Equalizing ears has become an important aspect of scuba diving, as it helps divers avoid ear damage.

Once you’ve learned to scuba dive properly, it becomes a very fun and rewarding sport. Imagine being able to explore any part of our planet under the sea!

But you have to know how to do it properly. Otherwise, you could end up with injured ears or worse.

Are you interested in taking up scuba diving? Contact us today for information on our classes! Learn how to dive here in the Northeast USA.