Similar to being on an airplane or scuba diving, when utilizing a hyperbaric chamber, you may feel the same sensation to “clear your ears”. This tends to happen to our bodies in environments in which the pressure is changing.
There are a few tips and tricks we often tell patients to help them clear their ears more quickly and comfortably:
Yawning: Opening the mouth up wide and yawning helps to clear the sinus passages, relieving pressure.
Movement: Moving your head left to right is another option.
The Valsalva Maneuver: Gently pinch your nose closed and close your mouth. In a short and gentle way, attempt to blow through your nose while holding it shut. This is a wonderful way to help relieve pressure and clear your ears.
Swallowing: Similar to yawning, the act of swallowing may also help relieve pressure.
We offer different chewing gum options for this very reason! The act of chewing allows us to swallow more naturally and easily.
We can also “slow” the descent during the dive, which may help ease the body through the new levels of pressure while diving.
Check out this video from HBOT USA for more tips and tricks on how to equalize the pressure in your ears!
Of course, if you ever have trouble clearing your ears while diving, let the HBOT tech know immediately. Your comfort and safety is of utmost importance during your dive.