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Food for thought ! - "Pierced Ear plugs "

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#1 caveman


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Posted 20 April 2003 - 10:02 PM

Just finished a 20 dive / 5 day trip in Burma. Great diving and great photography...............

..... and I got a souvenier....... massive ear infection ( Acute diffuse external Otitis ) ( I even sound like a doctor now )

Well, I dive with a hood, and the pro-ear mask aint gonna work when I need to take my mask off if any issues ....simply too difficult i.e. when you get fog and want to re-clean it underwater ) ( looks pretty wanky too, but I am sure teh fish wont care ! )

Here is an idea............. food for thought. Ear plugs are a problem we all know....... but how about this........ ear plugs with a mini hole in it. ...read on..........

My idea is to fill the external ear canal with some simple mild fluid which will kill any bacteria ( maybe clean water with a drop of iodine in it ) and the "plug it" with the ear plug........ Dont panic...read on............ if there is a small hole going through the plug, it will allow sea water to slowly seep in to equalize the pressure, but the hole would be too small to allow the internal fluid to be entirely replaced by sea water during the dive, but big enough to allow for virtually immidiate equalized pressure. ( i.e. 0.3 mm in diameter )

We all know that fluids dont compress ( well, not 100% true really ) and as such, there will be no real flow thruough hole, but the pressure on both sides of the plug will be equalized ! )

I am sure it would work, and I am tired of being several weeks out of action due to ear infections.

#2 raurich



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Posted 21 April 2003 - 05:22 AM

If you're interested in underwater ear plugs check these out. Doc's Proplugs. I've seen them in a LDS.


#3 craig


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Posted 21 April 2003 - 06:26 AM

A friend of mine uses lamb's wool in his ears and swears by them. I use Neosporin as a prophylactic since I am prone to infections myself. I feel your pain.
I love it when a plan comes together.
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#4 caveman


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Posted 21 April 2003 - 06:30 AM

Great stuff.......... I never heard of people using plugs. Glad to see it is not fantasy and has been tested. Will check it out.

#5 Simon K.

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Posted 21 April 2003 - 01:56 PM

Oceanic sells a mask called "Pro Ear" it has two silicon peaces over the ears (like big headphones) that are connected to the main mask with small silicon tubes for pressure compensation. It looks incredible silly but prevents water to get to your ear but enables you to do pressure compensation normaly.

I've heared of a lot of divers here in germany who solved their ear problems this way, very successfully.

Bye Simon.

#6 caveman


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Posted 21 April 2003 - 05:53 PM

You are right, it does look increadibly silly ! Thanks for the advice. I think they are difficult when you wear a hood if you need to remove the mask for cleaning underwater ( some times masks need a little helping hand under water ).

Thanks for your tips

#7 Arnon_Ayal


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Posted 21 April 2003 - 10:36 PM

from the ProEar site:

Diving with a Hood:
It is possible to dive while using the ProEar 2000 mask with a hood. There are basically 2 options:

Put the hood on and then peel it back off the head, place the ProEar mask on your face and over your ears   and then carefully place the hood back on the top of your head over the ear cups and mask straps.
By using the specially designed ProEar hood which will be available soon. This hood will allow for you to put the mask on over the top of the hood.

As Simon & the caveman said, you look incredibly silly with that, but I prefer to look silly in the water then fill silly on the boat when my buddies diving with hammerheads near the Jackson reef. In the last live aboard in Sinai I had a very hard inflammation in my ears and in the third day I couldn't dive anymore, lucky for me our instructor brought one Proear mask with him and its saved me the last 2 days.

To add to the silly look it was a pink mask :)
Arnon Ayal www.arnonayal.com
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#8 caveman


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Posted 23 April 2003 - 08:06 AM

A few things........

Got a clean bill of health from the ENT today, and we had a discussion on prevention. He said ( have heard before ) that diving changes the ear from "acidic" to "alkaline" and bacteria then grow in this environment. Main recommendation was to try shift it back to acidic after diving.

So, I have heard a "formula" before something to the effect of 1/3 vinegar and 2/3 alchohol ( no...not for swollowing) which will celan it out, and leave the ear acidic. Doc recons it will work, but is not sure about the ratio.

Secondly, her recommended a quick swab with Bentadine ( iodine solution - red stuff ) of the ear canal with a cue tip ( and yes, dont pierce the ear drum :D )

The Ear Plugs listed on Pro doc look good too...........