Sunday, December 6, 2009

Using ProEar Diving Mask to Help Equalization Problems

Dive # 31, 32
Tinggo 45min 60"
Talima 49min 80"

I intend to retire from my so called diving career, after at least 3 barotrauma. But I'm giving it another chance after a dive buddy introduced IST ProEar diving mask for P3,000.

This product aims to:

* improve diver comfort and preventing painful ear problems
* improve hearing and sense of direction underwater
* simplify equalization of pressure while diving

My reviews:1st dive: It worked pretty well for the first 10 feet. Thereafter, it took me some fifteen minutes to get to the bottom at forty feet with a painful left ear. (sorry folks, to keep you waiting, again) Thereafter, I was fine.

2nd dive: I tried to descend on my own, it worked pretty well til the bottom - that was 20 feet. As we continue, my right was painful at 50 feet. Very unusual since I normally feel fine at 40 feet onwards.

It wasn't difficult to adjust to it after reading all available materials and understanding the science behind this gear. *geek* It feels like the usual mask except that it's bigger than my TUSA splendive and it tends to slip on to the filtrum which could lead to mouth sore with friction between (inside) the mouth and mouth piece (later did I realize it caused it). It tends to slip since the strap is linear to the earpiece.  It feels safe to hear the boat propeller clearly since sounds are magnified. With the ears covered, I can move faster, looking at any direction without the water coming in my ear (and not worry about stings and bites on the ear). Other than that, I could not safely conclude that it simplified equalization. :(  I'll give it another try soon.

Pretty strong waves today that got two companions sea sick. Luckily, current was not strong. Nevertheless, had good dives with interesting finds diving in Mactan, Cebu:

@Tinggo: yellow frog fish, (a family of) squids, lots of nudis

@Talima: pygmy seahorse, mating eels (aha so that's how they do it! LOL)

PS: no underwater photography after leaving at home my beach bag with everything else in it (except my dive gear). hay, senior moment again.

Here's the ProEar diving mask instructions for use.
  • ProEar Mask Function:  In addition to standard to standard dive mask function; the ear cups keep the ears dry, protecting them from the elements of pressure, pollution and cold.  The squeeze we feel during a dive is caused by the imbalance of pressure either side of the ear canal.
    While our ear canal is exposed to water and ambient pressure, our middle ear (which is on the other side of the ear drum and is connected to our nasal cavity by Eustachian tube) is still filled with air and experiences less pressure. The greater external force is able to push our ear drum inward, causing discomfort or pain.
    With a ProEar mask, the ears are completed sealed off from the outside and air, at the same pressure as your nasal cavity, is able to be introduced through the Eqaulisation Tubes into the Ear Covers. Therefore the pressure on both sides of the ear drum becomes equal.
    So as pressure and depth increase, the simple act of breathing air into your Ear Covers can significantly improve your enjoyment of diving.
  • Preparation: Just like any other new mask, thoroughly clean both side of the lens with a non-abrasive liquid detergent or toothpaste to remove any residue and then rinse with fresh water.  (Our dive master normally, burn the film on it's first use and putting shampoo to keep them from fogging and rinsing it off just before every use.)
  • Wearing the mask: When putting on the mask, it is preferable to hold the ear cups in the palm of each hand and pull slightly apart as you slip the mask over your head.  Make sure that as little hair as possible gets into the ear cup and that it covers the entire ear.
  • Checking the seal: After putting on the mask, check the seal by inhaling through the nose.  It should pull in toward your face as a vacuum is formed.  The ear cups should also respond with the vacuum.
  • Adjusting the straps:  The strap sits a little lower than normal due it needs to support the ear cups.  Make sure the mask is snug but not too tight.
  • Beginning your dive: Descend slowly while very gently blowing air through your nose.  The air will go through the tubes and the one-way valve.  The valve may "whistle" slightly if you blow too hard into the ear cups.  Exhaling through the nose helps equalize the pressure in your mask and ear cupas and creates a "closed circuit" system of ambient air pressure.  Do not blow too hard.  You may also need to pinch your nose shut (as normal) occasionally to help with the equalization. (As for me, I still had to pinch my nose every so often to let it pop.)
  • Mask leakage:  If water gets into the ear cups, clear it with head facing forward, press the top of the ear cups against the head and blow air through the nose.

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