Ear problems are a most unpleasant surprise! “I can’t dive because of my ears” is something I have heard a million times. Generally, it is not true, most people can clear their ears, and if you don’t believe me, just yawn! They clear. It is a fact that there are divers who have ear trouble, and my husband was among them. He burst his eardrum at least 3 times that we know of. I used to get what they call “swimmers ear”, which is an outside the ear infection that is very painful, but I haven’t had it in years. Until Raja Ampat!
On the 6th day of diving my ears began to hurt. By Day 7 I knew there had to be an infection, so I made the decision to skip the rest of the day’s diving, take antibiotics and ear drops, and rest. The day was spent sorting photos and resting, and by dinner I was feeling much better. Until I put alcohol based ear drops in my ear. I actually screamed the pain was so absolutely unexpected! A nurse on board told me that I had probably burst an eardrum. Well, I was pretty sure of it, and the alcohol drops just confirmed it. However, I could not miss the incredibly beautiful sunset dive! My ear ached a bit for the rest of the trip, but I was very careful and had no major issues. The benefit of having a burst eardrum? You don’t have to clear your ears! A little diver humor!