What is the purpose of equalization in diving?

To restore volume lost to pressure, you send air into the middle ear via the eustachian tubes, equalizing or “popping” your ears. Failing to do this causes ears to hurt when diving, and potentially damages the delicate mechanisms of the ear.

Why do you have to equalize when diving?

The discomfort felt as the eardrum bends inwards is called a squeeze. A Diver must equalize the air pressure in his middle ear with the pressure in his outer ear or he risks an ear barotrauma (pressure related injury) or even rupturing his ear drum.

What happens if you don’t equalize while diving?

However, if a diver does not equalize early or often enough, the pressure differential can force the soft tissues together, closing the ends of the tubes. Forcing air against these soft tissues just locks them shut. No air gets to the middle ears, which do not equalize, so barotrauma results.

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What happens if you dont equalize?

When you go deep enough and you don’t equalize, you will have a little puncture in your eardrum. What results to water in your inner ear and reach your balance organ. The balance organ controls your balance, so when water hits your balance organ your world will be upside down.

How often should you equalize diving?

Most recommend equalizing every two feet (. 6 meters) of descent, but often that’s too late. At a fairly slow descent rate of 60 ft (18.288 m) per minute, that’s an equalization every two seconds. Many divers descend much faster and should be equalizing constantly.

How deep can you go without equalizing?

For most swimmers, a depth of 20 feet (6.09 metres) is the most they will free dive. Experienced divers can safely dive to a depth of 40 feet (12.19 metres) when exploring underwater reefs. When free diving the body goes through several changes to help with acclimatisation.

Do you have to equalize when scuba diving?

Why It Happens: Divers need to equalize the “dead air” spaces in their middle ears, which are connected to the outer ears by eustachian tubes that run to the back of the throat.

What happens when you equalize?

Through equalization we re-balance the pressure in our middle ear by increasing or decreasing the gas pressure in order to match the pressure at depth. We do this though the Eustachian tube which connects the middle ear with our nose.

What is the most important rule of scuba diving?

If you remember one rule of scuba diving, make it this: Breathe continuously and never hold your breath. During open water certification, a scuba diver is taught that the most important rule in scuba diving is to breathe continuously and to avoid holding his breath underwater.

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How do I know I am properly weighted for diving?

If you’re properly weighted, you should hover with the water’s surface at or slightly above eye level, with your forehead brushing the surface. Demonstrate negative buoyancy by sinking past eye level as you exhale. If you can easily descend when exhaling, fin back to the surface and establish positive buoyancy.

How do you equalize a diving mask?

If your mask leaks a little on a dive, simply exhale through your nose, tilt your face upwards, and press the top of the frame toward your forehead to crack your mask seal slightly. It is easy to equalize the pressure right from the beginning by just breathing out of your nose during a descent.

What happens to your ears when diving?

As divers descend down towards the bottom of the sea, the water pressure on their eardrums increases. This pressure against the eardrums causes the symptoms of ear squeeze. Starting with a feeling of fullness, it can become quickly very uncomfortable and dangerous as the eardrums swell and bulge.

What happens if you descend too fast while diving?

As you descend, water pressure increases, and the volume of air in your body decreases. This can cause problems such as sinus pain or a ruptured eardrum. As you ascend, water pressure decreases, and the air in your lungs expands. This can make the air sacs in your lungs rupture and make it hard for you to breathe.

How do free divers equalize?

The most common equalization technique that Scuba divers and people new to freediving use are the Valsalva maneuver. You simply pinch your nose and create pressure from your diaphragm by trying to exhale through your nostrils against your pinched nose.

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What to do if you can’t equalize your ears?

Summary. The sensation of having clogged ears happens when your body can’t equalize the pressure in your ears because your eustachian (auditory) tubes are blocked. You can try to pop your ears by yawning, swallowing, or chewing. Taking decongestants may also help.

How do you equalize?


  1. pinch the nose and swallow.
  2. pinch the nose, blow and swallow.
  3. tense your throat and push your jaw forward.
  4. close off the vocal cord, pinch your nose and make the sound of the letter “K”