Equalization issues (inability to pop one’s ears) are very common; especially among newer scuba divers. For many years my wife was convinced that she would never be able to dive because of ear infections she had as a child. In fact, she used to say that it wasn’t possible for her to pop her ears.
If you’ve read a few of my other articles, you know by now that she most certainly can equalize her ears. Kate’s a skilled scuba diver and has enjoyed diving for several years now.
So how did she overcome her ear problems?
She watched this video.
The Diver’s Ear (How to Pop Ears)
This is a lecture given by Dr. Edmund Kay at the University of Washington. He discusses several different methods for equalizing your ears as well as some common problems that people encounter. He demonstrates different ways to equalize during the presentation with an otoscope that’s connected to an overhead projector.
As she watched the lecture, Kate discovered that she didn’t actually understand how to equalize properly. In the past, this resulted in her always waiting too long to equalize. She would then try to compensate for the large difference in pressure by blowing way too hard. The end result was a lot of pain, which was why she’d decided that it just wasn’t possible for her to become a scuba diver.
By practicing some of the techniques demonstrated in the presentation, Kate discovered a few tricks that solved the problems she’d been having for most of her life!
I’ve shared this video with several other friends over the years, and several of them have had similar results. The lecture is fairly long (just under an hour), but it’s well worth your time if you’re having difficulty popping your ears.
How do YOU equalize your ears?
We’re all different and what works for some divers may not work for others. Which of the ear-popping methods covers in the video work best for you? Share it with the rest of us in the comment section!