Medical Forum
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Question
Posted : April 12, 2009
Hi. I have been diving for around 7 years with no problems what so ever. this year I have started having problems whilst descending. I get severe pain in my forehead which forces me to either ascend or cancel the dive. It doesnt seem to matter at what depth it is when it starts but when it does thats it, and I'm in pain for a few days afterwards. I was in a deep pool today (6m) with no problems at the bottom for 15mins or so, and then when I started practising lifts I couldn't get back down. I originally thought it was just a cold but I have felt fine for the past few weeks and still have the same problem.

I went to the doctors a month ago and they didn't really have any advice. They said I had a bit of water in my ears, but then Id just come back from Stoney so thought nothing of it. Would really appreciate your advice.

Cheers


Answer
Posted : April 14, 2009
Thanks for the query. From your symptoms I'd guess there's something blocking the drainage of your frontal sinuses, which causes trapped gas and consequent pain on ascent/descent. This can be intermittent sometimes, and difficult therefore to diagnose, but a trial of nasal steroids might be worth a go. You can get Beconase or Flixonase over the counter, and if you use it regularly for a week or so it might widen the passages sufficiently to relieve your symptoms.

You should probably get checked out by your local diving doc if this fails, as each time you get a block it does cause damage to the sinus tissue.

Regards

Dr O
Answer provided by Dr Oliver Firth
Dr Ollie Firth
Disclaimer:
The views expressed by Dr Firth & Dr Jules are their own and the publishers accept no liability for the advice and views expressed by Dr Firth , Dr Jules, or other users, which are provided as a general service to divers. Users are warned that secondary posts are the views of other users and may not be medically correct.
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