Author Topic: SOS Dr. Bertie  (Read 2223 times)

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Offline Patricia Lotte

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SOS Dr. Bertie
« on: September 22, 2008, 05:33:41 AM »
Hey Bertie, I could really use some advice. I'm busy doing my open water diving certificate and am having ear problems. I saw an ENT before I started the course for a full check-up and everything was in order. However, after a confined water dive at only 3m last Tuesday, my right ear has been blocked. I've tried equilising it but nothing has helped. I was told to try 'Dry ear' drops, but they don't sell them in this country. Instead the pharmacist sold me normal ear drops that aren't really helping. I've been feeling dizziness and nausea that I'm sure is linked to this ear problem. I did 2 dives at 6m on Saturday and felt a little pain but it was bearable. But my ear is still blocked. Do you have any suggestions as I do intend to finish the course and continue diving regularly.
Thanks Doc.
OPS ('74-'79)
RGHS ('80-'84)

Offline Bertie Horak

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Re: SOS Dr. Bertie
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2008, 05:47:03 AM »
Hi Patricia - did somebody look in the ear?  To treat it one must be sure there's no solid blockage or swelling or infection.  The dizziness and nausea tells me that it's something deeper than the external ear canal, and it would really be a good idea to have it looked at.  You're a little far away, so no immediate solution there, sorry!  If you were here, I would have given you a tincture to drink, containing Plantago lanceolata (Plantain) - great success drying up ears in little ones to prevent them for going for grommets.  Wish I could have had a look!  Good luck!
Oranjemund 1965-1982.

Offline Patricia Lotte

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Re: SOS Dr. Bertie
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2008, 05:51:05 AM »
Wow, that was a quick response. Thanks Bertie. No, I haven't seen a doctor since it blocked as I thought drops would do the trick. Might need to do it if it doesn't improve soon. I heard that pure almond oil could maybe help. What do you think?
OPS ('74-'79)
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Offline Bertie Horak

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Re: SOS Dr. Bertie
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2008, 05:57:19 AM »
NO!  Under no circumstances any oily substance in the ear!  Will explain later.  Yes go to somebody to check it out with proper instruments.  I'm sure there's swelling in middle ear and that the little tubes that helps you balance and/or the nerves are affected by the pressure.  Sorry, have to get ready for work now, hope you get help soon!
Oranjemund 1965-1982.

Offline Patricia Lotte

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Re: SOS Dr. Bertie
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2008, 11:30:14 AM »
Took your advice Bertie and went to see my ENT. Turns out I have a perforation again ... I now have to stop diving for god knows how long and I have no guarantee that when it does heal it won't happen again as soon as I go under. I'm gutted! And to make matters worse, I'm flying to Mauritius next week and was looking forward to doing water sports there too   hammer hammer
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Offline Michele Alexander (Voden)

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Re: SOS Dr. Bertie
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2008, 12:41:32 PM »
 notfair - shame Patricia, that is such a pity, especially with a trip to Mauritius so close.
OPS 1982-1988, RHENISH 1989 - 1993

Offline Bertie Horak

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Re: SOS Dr. Bertie
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2008, 12:43:24 PM »
Sorry to hear your holiday plans might have to change.  Isn't there perhaps some kind of plug you can use to prevent water from entering the ear canal?  I'm sure there must be something.
Oranjemund 1965-1982.

Offline Patricia Lotte

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Re: SOS Dr. Bertie
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2008, 01:06:16 PM »
The doctor suggested getting an earplug tailormade so that I can at least snorkel. The problem is that with Ramadan, businesses are working shorter hours and even during those 'working hours' nothing gets done. So I don't have enough time to get one done before I travel. Besides, he suggested ear plugs and a swim cap ... and that's a definate no no one the beach ...
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Offline Rhona

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Re: SOS Dr. Bertie
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2008, 01:52:54 PM »
What about a self made ear-plug.........a piece of blue-tack (that tacky putty stuff used to hang posters on the wall); if you use a big enough piece, maybe you can mould it to fit your ear - make sure it's not to small that it will get stuck! Try it out in the swimming pool first.............Just a thought!

Offline Patricia Lotte

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Re: SOS Dr. Bertie
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2008, 01:55:29 PM »
Sounds interesting Rhona, but is it waterproof ...?
OPS ('74-'79)
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Offline Skinny

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Re: SOS Dr. Bertie
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2008, 02:09:47 PM »
Hi, Patricia
You can get some drops called swimmers ears which are fantastic for drying up the ear. Please do not use prestick as it leaves a residue on the ear hairs and will give you more irritation.
Go to your pharmacy and get a tablet form of sudafed. All divers are allowed to use them. They dry up the ear and are fantastic as they do  not make you sleepy and can be used as an anti travel sick tablet. I had the same problem when I was diving and they saved my ears and I was able to continue with my open water and advanced.
Good luck and they should clear up within a couple of days.
If you want to dive whilst on holiday try not to go deeper than 12 meters and desend slowly and keep clearing your ears but try not to clear them by holding your nose and clearing. Try moving your jaw from side to side and swollow.
Good luck and happy blowing bubbles.

Offline Bertie Horak

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Re: SOS Dr. Bertie
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2008, 04:11:23 PM »
You're not stopping over in CT are you?  Otherwise I could make you one, I have everything needed to make a tailor made one for you from silicone rubber (stuff we use to take crown impressions).  Remember, the problem is not drying up the ear, but preventing more water from entering the middle ear through the perforation in the ear drum.  Plug and swim cap seems to be your only solution (even if it's just a piece of rubber covering the ears like a head band to keep the plug in place).  Good luck!
Oranjemund 1965-1982.

Offline Patricia Lotte

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Re: SOS Dr. Bertie
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2008, 06:06:38 AM »
Thanks for the advice guys. I'm still not over the disappointment of having to put everything on hold, especially that I passed my final exam yesterday and that I only have 2 more open water dives to do to complete the course ... damn! Also, it looks highly unlikely that I'll be able to dive again before at least 2 to 3 months. As you say Bertie, the important thing is to prevent any liquid from entering, which is easier said than done. I forgot to jam something in my ear last night and again this morning under the shower. Not a good start to the healing process!

We'll not be flying through Cape Town, unfortunately, so I'm going to have to find something here. Not sure whether I should go for those plastic earplugs or the wax ones that you can kinda mold into your ear. I need to check that out. As for the dry ear drops, they don't sell them here and wouldn't be of any use in my case. So, I'm just going to have to stick to snorkeling and shallow waters if I want to get this healed as quickly as possible.
OPS ('74-'79)
RGHS ('80-'84)

Offline DUNJA WRBKA

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Re: SOS Dr. Bertie
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2008, 08:24:40 AM »
awwwwwwwww how dissapointing Patricia.   msn emoticon (68)

I sincerely hope that you manage to get your ears sorted ASAP and get back down in deeper waters soon.   bighug
Don't sweat the small shit!

Offline Carl Wrbka

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Re: SOS Dr. Bertie
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2008, 09:07:17 AM »
What about a self made ear-plug.........a piece of blue-tack (that tacky putty stuff used to hang posters on the wall); if you use a big enough piece, maybe you can mould it to fit your ear - make sure it's not to small that it will get stuck! Try it out in the swimming pool first.............Just a thought!

It works too! This remedy was in fact recommended to me by our local ENT specialist. He said that it's the only method he uses for himself and his family. Then again, he also mentioned that the smallest thing you should insert in your ear was your elbow... 202