Diving and ear drops
Many divers complain about pain in their auditory canals during their diving holiday and have no idea how to
deal with it. Every diver should therefore know something about this topic, so that a diving trip does not have to come to a premature and painful end.
Some divers regularly get painful inflammations of their auditory
canals, especial y when diving in warm water. The cause is, however, often their own fault: the earwax is frequently found to be
disagreeable and divers like to remove it, although it actual y represents a natural protective layer against infections. In addition,
using the infamous cotton buds can occasional y cause the earwax to be forced deeper into the auditory canal rather than bringing the
it outside the ear.
On the contrary, the most important method of preventing this is regularly rinsing the ears with pure, clean water after each dive. For
this purpose you should use the same water that you drink rather than tap water, because the latter may be polluted in some countries. In addition, a bobble hat or something similar should be used as a protection against
the wind when there is a bit of a breeze.
It is also possible to use “divers’ ear drops” which are concocted from various mixtures. This is, however, not without controversy,
because some of the possible ingredients themselves can exercise an irritant effect on the skin of the auditory canal. It is mainly the
alcohol which is added as a disinfectant that irritates the auditory canal, because it removes its oils and dries it out, making it more
sensitive as a result. It is better to use glacial acetic acid as one of the ingredients. This also acts as a disinfectant without causing
irritation or the skin to dry up, but rather it maintains the slightly acidic environment of the auditory canal. Experts are however stil
arguing about the “correct” mixture. What is also important is the
care of the auditory canal after the treatment. For example one drop of olive oil (from the pharmacist) applied in
the auditory canal on each side is very suitable for this purpose. However, it must be stated that the effectiveness
of al these ear drops has not been scientifical y proven.Recommended mixtures or recipes for such drops are:
It should final y be mentioned that in severe cases medicinal products may also be used to treat the ears. This is mainly to be recommended in cases when it is known from experience that there is a tendency for the
auditory canal to become inflamed. For example, the antibiotic Panotile Cipro is wel known. If you should choose a preparation which at the same time has a painkil ing ingredient, then you should not
dive at al , because your sensitivity towards the necessary equalisation of pressure is adversely affected.
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